14 ways to go faster without spending a dime

Carl
By Carl Heideman
Feb 4, 2024 | Shop Work, Speed Secrets | Posted in Shop Work | From the Oct. 2010 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Making power isn’t about silver bullets—it’s about putting together a system that works efficiently. While trick parts and the right amount of money can really help build power, there are also free or nearly free ways to pick up power no matter what’s under the hood. 

These tips can help just about every kind of enthusiast. Do you compete under a …

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Comments
frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/9/22 10:13 a.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Remove weight. Spares tools, junk, dirt, including in the radiator fins and trash between A/C and radiator, under the body,  fender wells,  grease and dirt around the suspension. Between the body and frame.  

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/9/22 10:22 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

and around your waist!

parker
parker Reader
2/9/22 10:45 a.m.
adam525i said:

In reply to frenchyd :

and around your waist!

This.  People will obsess trying to remove weight from the car while the driver is carrying an extra 20, 50 or 100 pounds.

 

spedracer
spedracer New Reader
2/9/22 10:52 a.m.

Last time I was out at a track I frequent a few times a year, I played with shifting less. Mostly due to the shifts happening while there was some lateral load, which wasn't working well as I need new engine mounts. It sounded and felt much slower, but I gained a full second on a fairly solid and consistent time just by shifting less. Playing around with shifting less can lead to real gains, at least on a "normal" manual trans.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/9/22 11:53 a.m.
spedracer said:

Last time I was out at a track I frequent a few times a year, I played with shifting less. Mostly due to the shifts happening while there was some lateral load, which wasn't working well as I need new engine mounts. It sounded and felt much slower, but I gained a full second on a fairly solid and consistent time just by shifting less. Playing around with shifting less can lead to real gains, at least on a "normal" manual trans.

For 3-4 seasons I ran a close ratio gearbox in the Datsun but the only one available is fragile and I repeatedly had issues. 

A friend gave me a street gearbox the 2nd - 3rd shift see a 2850 RPM drop, so I started running only 3rd and 4th gear. 

Well I went 4 tenths faster than I ever had. It's a combination of 2 fewer upshifts per lap and rolling the hairpin turn.

Neil Redden
Neil Redden New Reader
2/9/22 1:27 p.m.
adam525i said:

In reply to frenchyd :

and around your waist!

Right On! I needed a new battery for the FR-S I track and figured I'd buy an Anti-Gravity battery. That is, until I found they cost a ton. I figured that I could lose some weight by eating less, come in at about the same overall car weight and save money.

Now, I'll have to look into the shifting less tactic. Not sure that works on an FR-S with no torque to help, but maybe? 

trigun7469
trigun7469 SuperDork
2/9/22 1:38 p.m.

In reply to parker :

Actually people need to add more weight to their cars and karts to accommodate for us fat people lolz. We live in America not Europe.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/9/22 2:55 p.m.
trigun7469 said:

In reply to parker :

Actually people need to add more weight to their cars and karts to accommodate for us fat people lolz. We live in America not Europe.

No...........those of us who are skinny got way to much crap about it as teenagers and are exacting our revenge via car racing.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/9/22 3:22 p.m.
adam525i said:

In reply to frenchyd :

and around your waist!

You are right,  I'm guilty as charged.   Yet I'll continue taking weight off the race car. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/9/22 3:26 p.m.
Tom1200 said:
trigun7469 said:

In reply to parker :

Actually people need to add more weight to their cars and karts to accommodate for us fat people lolz. We live in America not Europe.

No...........those of us who are skinny got way to much crap about it as teenagers and are exacting our revenge via car racing.

Amen!   I was a skinny 5'8" kid playing football on the line.   Effective. But I took more crap because of my lack of weight. 
    Two tours in Vietnam and I didn't gain a pound.   
      In Vintage racing  they weigh the car with the driver. 

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