Did you know that roughly only 25% of the heat energy produced by burning gasoline is actually used to power your machine? Fully 35% of the total heat is released into the cooling system and another 35% flows out the exhaust, with roughly 5% more lost to friction.
Many motorcycles have a problem with excessive heat. If yours is one of them, here's a solution you may want to try. In my case, after just tediously rebuilding the Martocchi shock on my Ducati, the close proximity of the rear exhaust pipe to the shock gave me pause. How could I expect the rebuild to last when the pipe constantly cooked the shock fluid.. .not to mention my legs? So, I located a speed shop that carried this stuff and proceeded to wrap both the headers down to the collector. The results were surprising. Not only did the huge volume of heat pouring from the vents in the bodywork cease to be an issue, but my oil temperature gauge also registered nearly 20 degrees cooler, presumably because the blazing hot front exhaust pipe no longer cooked the crankcase. The company claims that underhood temps can be reduced by 70 degrees which can add almost 5% more power in cooler intake air.
The material is a fiberglass composition, not asbestos, and a 2-inch by 50-foot roll is more than enough for your bike. Use hose clamps to secure it at both ends. You see this stuff commonly now on custom choppers. Note: It is not to be used on titanium exhaust systems and you should be aware that additional exhaust heat may be conducted to the exhaust valves, but we've had no problems. It also adds efficiency to the exhaust by keeping heat up and scavenging velocity high.
Used car shopping used to be a scary maze of breakdown-prone models, but reliability has gained sharply. Auto manufacturing quality and dependability studies have shown steady gains this decade. But exceptions do exist and if you're in the market for a used car, you want to steer clear of them.
So CBS MoneyWatch.com has compiled a list of used cars to avoid in five categories, focusing on 2007 models-the year from the latest J.D. Power and Associates dependability study. Buying a three-year-old car also lets you shop after the bulk of depreciation has taken place.
To make our list of used-car rejects, a model had to score the minimum two out of five in the J.D. Power "circle ratings" for dependability-a below-average ranking. It also had to be ranked below average as a used car by Consumer Reports in its annual April car issue and online car rankings.
Here are our used cars to avoid, by category, plus better used car alternatives:
Small Used Car to Avoid: Volkswagen New Beetle
Sure, it's adorable, but the 2007 New Beetle is also trouble-prone. Owners who responded to the Consumer Reports reliability survey reported problems with the fuel and electrical systems, the suspension, brakes, power windows, and other power equipment. The convertible model sells on dealers' lots for $17,055, according to Kelley Blue Book at kbb.com.
Small Used Car Alternative: Ford Focus
It may not be as stylish as the Beetle, but it's a lot more reliable. In fact, the Focus got the J.D. Power award as most reliable compact car. Owners of the 2007 Focus who responded to Consumer Reports reported no major trouble spots. And it's much cheaper than the Beetle. The Kelley Blue Book dealer price is $10,905.
Mid-Size Used Car to Avoid: Chrysler Sebring
The 2007 Sebring sedan not only got just two circles from J.D. Power, Consumer Reports reported a laundry list of problems: engine cooling, minor transmission problems, the drive system, suspension, brakes and more. The low $12,365 dealer price isn't worth it.
Mid-Size Used Car Alternative: Buick LaCrosse
Winner of the J.D. Power dependability award in this category, the 2007 LaCrosse got an above-average used-car rating from Consumer Reports. It's a good value at a dealer price for the CX version at $14,430.
Small Used SUV to Avoid: Jeep Wrang
King of the off-road, the 2007 Wrangler can climb over almost any obstacle except a reliability test. Owners of the two-door version responding to Consumer Reports reported major transmission problems and issues with the electrical system and brakes. And it's selling on dealer lots at a relatively expensive $19,850.
Small Used SUV Alternative: Honda CR-V
A lot less noticeable than a Wrangler, the Honda CR-V is a lot less trouble, too. It won the J.D. Power dependability award in this category and is rated by Consumer Reports as a well-above-average used car prospect. As a used-car buyer, you are on the wrong side of Honda models' strong ability to hold their value. But at a dealer price of $20,980, the four-wheel-drive version of the CR-V is still a decent value.
Mid-Size SUV to Avoid: GMC Acadia
The 2007 Acadia is a good example of the time-honored rule to avoid buying the first year of a model. It not only got a below-average two circles from J.D. Power, it received a much-worse-than-average used car rating from Consumer Reports. CR readers who owned the 2007 reported problems with the drive system, suspension, body integrity and power equipment. In addition, the all-wheel-drive version on dealers' lots is priced at an expensive $28,435, according to Kelly Blue Book.
Mid-Size SUV Alternative-Honda Pilot
One of a handful of mid-size SUVs to get four circles from J.D. Power, the Pilot is rated well-above-average by Consumer Reports. (Its corporate stablemate, the Accord Crosstour, actually won the J.D. Power award. But many reviewers find its modified-sedan style not big enough to provide true SUV cargo or passenger room.) The Pilot is selling for $23,395-some $5,000 less than the GMC Acadia.
Used Minivan to Avoid: Nissan Quest
Never a strong contender in this category, the Quest gets a below-average used car rating from Consumer Reports and two circles from Power. Owners of the 2007 reported problems with the fuel and climate system, brakes and body integrity. The Quest is selling at $17,395.
Used Minivan Alternative: Toyota Sienna
This van gets four J.D. Power circles and an above-average CR used car rating. Not part of the Toyota sudden-acceleration recall, the Sienna is selling at a dealers' price of $20,280 for the CE trim level.
Do you recognize the symbol here? It lights up in your instrument panel and looks like a U-shaped pictograph with treads and an exclamation point in the middle.
Do you understand what it means now?
If you guessed a low tire-pressure warning, you are right. If you didn't recognize the symbol, that's also understandable because one out of three drivers do not, according to Schrader, a company that makes tire pressure monitoring systems.
The issue here seems to be that the public hasn't been properly educated on the warning symbol, which is supposed to be "idiot proof" and understandable across a wide variety of cultures and languages. Yet 46% of drivers couldn't figure out that the icon represents a tire and 14% thought the symbol represented another problem with the vehicle entirely.
When rust starts to attack the metal in our vehicles, it threatens to destroy the entire body. Virtually anywhere you live, your vehicle is at risk of a rust attack. Humidity, heat, saltwater, salt applied to the roads, and rainwater are all contributors.
Rust begins very easily and is a very devious enemy, hiding under paints and coatings, having begun its damage and taking its toll long before it rears its ugly head and makes its presence known. It just takes the smallest of chips or nicks in your paint to begin this unsightly process that will weaken the structural integrity of the metal.
Rust Prevention Techniques
There are several prevention techniques that will protect your vehicle
Wash the underside of the vehicle
This is important during the winter when salt is applied to the roads
Wax the body of the vehicle
This should be done at least twice a year
Wash the vehicle with appropriate products
Always use soaps, brushes, and methods that will not strip the protective wax off. You may think you're saving money by using dishwashing detergent but you are actually ruining your paint.
Maintain proper coolant-to-water ratio
Your owner's manual will tell you the ratio of coolant-to-water that your car requires (it's usually 1:1). Maintaining this ratio reduces the chance of corrosion in the cooling system.
If you use a car cover...
Use one that breathes preventing ground moisture from being trapped under the vehicle.
Apply Rust Bullet
Rust Bullet, when applied to the undercarriage, floor pan, trunk compartment, and other areas vulnerable to rust, protects your vehicle from corrosion.
How To Repair Rust Spots
Large rust spots often require the replacement of an entire body panel, but with a few basic tools and materials you can easily do most corrosion control yourself.
Scrape off any loose or flaky corrosion or old paint
Scuff the surface of any remaining old paint
Apply approximately 6 mil dft Rust Bullet Automotive (usually two coats - 2-4 hours between coats)
If necessary use a body filler to smooth out any pockets or dents and add additional coat of Rust Bullet
Wet sand if necessary to achieve desired surface smoothness
Topcoat with automotive paint of your choice
Wax the entire vehicle
This guide is prepared to help the car enthusiast prepare and maintain their car's appearance Being a passionate car enthusiast does not only mean enjoying the car from a driving experience, but also enjoying the car's appearance and level of presentation will provide just as much joy as driving it. To maintain a vehicle does not only provide many hours of visual enjoyment, but will also preserve the vehicle . Our cars are a huge investment so why not take the time and keep them looking like they rolled off the production line .
In order to produce a "show car shine" there are seven very important steps to follow :
• Thoroughly rinse down cars exterior surface with a trigger hose or using a High Pressure water gun (domestic grade is just fine) make sure all the surfaces are blown off well ensuring all the dirt is removed.
• Use hand washing techniques at ALL times , Car wash bay facilities have the worst wash brushes on the planet and also do a huge amount of damage to your cars paint surface.
• Always use a good quality washing detergent , and a WOOL mitt or Microfiber wash mitt will be just fine.
• Have another sponge that is only used for the door sills and wheels only , this will avoid any cross contamination of the sponges.
• Make sure you wash the car from top to bottom, this will ensure you don't miss any areas and also keeps the soap gliding down from the top first .
• Can use non acidic wheel cleaning solutions if required. Cleaning the under door sills and wheels is done at the very end with the separate sponge ( do not use wool mitt or microfiber mitt in these areas.)
• Keep car in shade for the whole detailing procedure , preferably in a garage.
• Thoroughly dry the cars surface with a high quality shammy , gliding the shammy from the top down . regularly wringing out the excess water.
• Use a separate shammy for door jambs and sills and wheels.
• Drying the surface of the paint is very important , this prevents new contaminants to land and set in the water beading on the car .
3 Surface Preparation
• Once dry GLIDE your clean fingers along the roof or bonnet or boot lid of car and feel for light roughness on the paint surface, if the paint feels like fine sandpaper , the paint requires the use of the "clay bar". the clay bar is specifically designed to remove all the paint SURFACE contaminants and leave a smooth clean neutral paint surface.
• If the paint feels smooth you do not require the clay bar process
4 Paint Correction
• This stage is the most common among cars .
• Over time your car's paint surface is subjected to many negative elements , whether it is from natural occurrences or inflicted by human error.
• Depending on the severity of the paint surface damage , use a high quality cutting polish to remove the defects.
• Most common defects are: Swirl marks, Cob webbing, fine scratches, bird dropping stains, fading from UV.
• Always start with a finer grade of cutting polish to prevent further defects created from using too harsher polishing compound.
• The compound can be hand applied with foam applicator pads commonly sold by most high end car care companies.
• Use a moderate pressure circular motion when applying polish, making sure that you work in the compound until it starts to get dry, (do not keep polishing the compound once compound is dry "powdery")
• Wipe off residue once compound is dry using only microfiber polishing towels, commercially available at most auto outlets .
• If the paint finish has shown improvement , but still needs more work repeat this step again
• If the paint is showing no sign of improvement you will need to go to a heavier cutting compound, but again do not take drastic jumps between level of abrasiveness , make incremental jumps to ensure that you are heading in the right direction .
• If the paint is showing a clear mark free surface , you can proceed to the finer grade of polish.
• The next step is required to remove all other finer imperfections left behind from the use of the heavier grade compounds. Select a "swirl remover" type polish , Use a moderate pressure circular motion when applying polish, making sure that you work in the compound until it starts to get dry, (do not keep polishing the compound once compound is dry "powdery")
5 Paint sealing
• This stage is required in order to "seal" the exposed surface and restore depth of colour and richness to the paint pigment and clear coat.
• Use a high quality Sealer polish such as Meguiars Deep Christal Polish "Deep Crystal system Polish" is a pure polish specially formulated for dark-coloured cars. The formula creates a dazzling, high gloss finish by conditioning and nourishing the paint, making dark colours darker and eliminating fine hairline scratches for perfect swirl-free reflections. It is that extra step necessary to create the ultimate, wet-look show car shine. Apply with an Even-Coat Applicator or Applicator Pad and remove any excess product with a Microfibre Polishing Cloth for amazing results.
• Keep your foam applicator pads separate from one's used for waxing.
6 Paint Waxing
• This stage is the final stage in order to seal in and further enrich the paints clarity , depth and lustre providing a barrier from most surface contaminants.
• Use a high quality Carnauba based wax for example Meguiars gold class wax "Gold Class Clear Coat Wax" will dramatically darken color, bring out the full richness of the paint, and create clear, sharp reflections for the ultimate show car shine. For best results, apply with an Even-Coat Applicator or Applicator Pad and remove the residue with a Microfibre Polishing Cloth or 100% Terry Towelling Cloth.
• Always at all times keep the polishing towels separate from each other, do not mix towels that have been used to remove polishing compound with towels being used for removing wax.
• Keep your foam applicator pads separate from one's used for compound polishing.
• You have now gone to the trouble of restoring your cars paint surface, now you must maintain that show car look by using a "spray on" type wax in between polishing.
• This stage may be done once every two weeks
• Use a high quality spray on mist WAX
• Compound polishing of vehicle should only be done twice a year or if there has been surface defects inflicted into paint work.
• Waxing of car can be done as often as once every month if required.
We came across this and thought we would pass it on:
If you change your own oil, you likely do so for one of two reasons. Either you enjoy it, or you are trying to save money. No matter why you change your own oil, many people are left wondering what they should do with their old oil. Most of us know that it is not a good idea to dump motor oils in the backyard or down a drain. After all, doing either of those things will put it right into our drinking water. So how do you get rid of it?
The easiest way to dispose of your used oil is to put it in a container and take it somewhere that accepts used oil. Finding something to put your used oil in is simple. Personally, I use an old milk jug or two. Instead of throwing them out when the milk is gone, I always make sure to have a couple stored out in the garage for the oil I drain from my car. If you do not have milk jugs readily available, any type of container that can be sealed will do the trick.
Now that the oil is in a container, where do you take it? Many auto repair shops will accept used oil at no cost to you. In fact, many encourage the practice. They already have a process in place to dispose of oil, and are usually more than willing to take yours off your hands as well. If your local repair shop does not provide that service, you can try gas stations or car dealerships. It is unlikely that someone in your area will not have a program in place to dispose of used motor oils.
Four Wheeler Magazine:
1 Q: How does wrapping headers increase horsepower?
A: Wrapping the headers maintains exhaust gas heat within the header.
This translates into more exhaust flow due to maintaining exhaust
temperatures as it flows out of the engine. By improving the
scavenging of spent gases, the engine breathes more efficiently.
This reduces contamination of gases, thus allowing the engine to
develop more power.
2 Q: How much wrap is required to do a set of headers?
A: Guidelines recommend: 1-2" x 50' roll for a 4 cyl., 2-2" x 50' rolls
for a V6 or V8, and 3-2" x 50' rolls for a big block or 180 degree
set of headers.
3 Q: Why only wrap 18" to 20" of the primaries on a RV or towing vehicle?
A: These vehicles generate a lot more heat than the average automobile
with the chemical properties of the wrap assisting with the heat flow,
the collector acts as a "dump off" area for the heat on these applications
only. Generally the header manifold blankets are easier to use on these
applications and are highly recommended.
4 Q: Why do you use only a 1/4" overlap and nothing more?
A: Using only 1/4" overlap draws the heat from the motor but still
allows the heat to evenly dissipate through out the system. If you
use more than 1/4" overlap you may cause fatiguing due to "hot spots"
in your tubes.
5 Q: Does the wrap overheat exhaust components?
A: This area is not a problem due to the added flow of the exhaust.
Increasing flow also increases the amount of heat extracted from
the engine and manifold.
6 Q: When is it not recommended to use header wrap on cast iron exhaust
manifolds on a turbo engine?
A: Cracking on stock exhaust manifolds and housing has never been a problem.
Manifolds to the turbo can be a problem only if extensive modifications have
been made to the castings. These types of castings have a high failure rate
even without the wrap being applied to them. This is due to the uneven wall
thickness of the castings from the machine work performed to improve flow of
the manifold. The heat cycle generated could cause the cast iron to become
brittle eventually causing cracking to occur.
7 Q: Can the header wrap be used on a catalytic converter?
8 Q: What temperature will the wrap withstand?
A: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
9 Q: Does the header wrap contain asbestos?
10 Q: What kind of material is the header wrap made of?
A: Highly textured silica based fabric with a patented inorganic
coating applied by a proprietary process. A heat conducting coating
is applied with a binder to the surface to provide a equal amount
of heat distribution. Limit 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
11 Q: Does the header wrap retain heat better than ceramic coatings?
A: Yes. Ceramic coatings are made from inorganic compounds made of
aluminum oxide or of zirconium oxide or coating of an intermetallic
compound. These coatings are all very good conductors of heat and only
provide corrosion protection.
12 Q: Does header wrap increase power and improve fuel mileage?
A: Yes. By wrapping headers, exhaust gas heat within the header is
maintained. This translates into better exhaust flow because the
hotter the exhaust gasses stay, the faster they flow out of the
engine. By improving the scavenging of spent gases, the engine
breathes more efficiently. This reduces contamination of the
intake fuel air charge with exhaust gases. Thus allowing the
engine to develop more power with less throttle.
13 Q: How does the turbo kit help?
A: It will keep the turbine spooled-up so when you are in the throttle,
let-off and then get back into the throttle, the spooled-up turbine
gives more boost and increases throttle response immediately. By keeping
heat in the exhaust, a higher velocity is maintained, that improves over
all turbo performance. Lower temperatures will occur from the induction
to the inner cooler. For every 10 degrees reduction on incoming air fuel
mixture, you have an increase of 2% in horsepower.
14 Q: When is it not recommended to use header wrap on cast iron exhaust manifolds?
A: We do not recommend using header wrap on cast iron manifolds that have had
extensive machine work, altering the wall thickness of the casting. These
manifolds would not be able to withstand the heat cycle generated, rapid
heat-up, by using header wrap. This cycle could cause the cast iron to
become brittle eventually causing cracking to occur also using exhaust
insulating wrap on cast iron manifolds tends to be a very difficult
application, especially on RVs and towing vehicles.
15 Q: Does the turbo kits overheat the turbos?
A: No adverse effects have been recorded to date. Remember, that the
properties of the materials are not just helping with insulating the
heat in the system, but also assisting with getting the heat out
of that area.
16 Q: Will it take turbos longer to cool down once the kit has been applied?
A: The turbo will not take longer to cool down due to the added flow. Any
user should follow normal shutdown procedures recommended by the manufacturer
of the turbo or engine that they have. Normally this is done by allowing the
engine to idle for a certain amount of time so the exhaust and oil have time
to dissipate the heat.
17 Q: Does any of Thermo-Tec products contain asbestos?
A: No! Thermo-Tec products are all user safe, and do not contain any cancer
18 Q: Can you use Thermo-Shield Tape on the exhaust?
No! The tape has a adhesive backing that is limited to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
The base material will withstand 1000 degrees.
19 Q: Why is it necessary to lean the motor down in most applications with the wrap?
Air/fuel mixture is enriched due to cooler intake and increased exhaust
velocity. Increased scavenging of the exhaust has an effect on the induction
side of any motor. Clearing the combustion chamber more efficiently means more
efficient flow of the incoming air fuel mixture.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 1-800-274-8437.
Think of exhaust gases as a piston moving down through the tubular system. As each pulse travels down the system, it creates a vacuum behind itself. The negative pressure behind each, is the scavenging effect. As the velocity of the pulses increase, the negative pressures also increase. As you have an increase in velocity, the length of time that you have a negative pressure in the system is increased. The net result of higher velocity to assist in scavenging is increased performance of the intake and exhaust system. Maintaining higher exhaust temperatures throughout the system increases performance in many ways.
Think of exhaust gases as a heavy liquid such as an oil additive. If the liquid were traveling down a tubular system in a cold state, it would move very slowly. If you were to heat the liquid, the density of the fluid changes. The liquid responds to the heat increasing Its velocity. Exhaust gases respond In the same manner. Higher temperatures in a system increases the flow of the system. If the liquid is allowed to cool in the system, It slows down the flow of the liquid. By this Illustration, you can now see the importance of maintaining higher temperatures in a exhaust system.
The Incoming air charge increases due to many different factors. First, the lowering of air induction temperatures and cooler fuel coming into the engine will increase horse power by over 1% per Degree drop In temperature. Other areas of performance are Improved by the increased scavenging effect. Increasing the scavenging effect of the exhaust allows the engine to breathe more efficiently. A engine in many ways is like an air compressor, the pushing of exhaust gases from the combustion chamber creates a condition called pumping losses. This is the loss of power due to the piston pushing these exhaust gases Into the system and out of the system. Increased scavenging not only lowers pumping losses but also allows more efficient clearing of exhaust gases from the combustion chamber. This means cleaner air fuel mixture, this means power. The increased scavenging effect of the exhaust also benefits the intake of air & fuel during the overlap phase of the intake stroke. During the overlap phase, both the intake & exhaust valve are open. The exhaust gases create a vacuum effect which pulls the air fuel mixture at a higher velocity through the intake. As you can see, there are many benefits to the use of our product, lower cockpit temperatures, lower under hood temperatures. These all mean increased life of electric & electronic components.
Thermo-Tec is a one of a kind product. Through a proprietary treatment of inorganic materials, the material develops the unique ability to conduct heat across its surface. This provides distribution of heat throughout the system providing insulation without creating hot spots. The conductivity of just the right amount of heat to combat the problems of the heat radiated by an exhaust system were developed over a period of 3 years of research and development. The specific make up of the Header Wrap was developed as to not over insulate the system and provide just the right amount of Insulating properties. It is very important to retain only a specific amount of heat. We caution the use of any products said to be used for this purpose. The specific make up of Thermo-Tec Header Wrap Is a delicate balance of high temperature materials blended to control a accurate amount of heat dissipation Beware of any products said to be used for this use.
Thermo-Tec stands alone as a quality product developed for a specific use. We hope you now have a better understanding of the benefits of our products. We hope we have answered any questions you may have had.
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