Monday, October 20, 2014

AMSOIL Blog Moves to a New Location

Yes, we've moved our blog to a new home. You can now find all of our blog content at the AMSOIL website. Visit us today and sign in for regular updates

The New AMSOIL Blog:

Here are some additional links you might want bookmark as well:


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Congratulations to Tony Bischoff and BES Racing Engines... 5X Engine Masters Champion

When Jon Kaase looked at his numbers after his dyno run on day four of the 2014 AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge he seemed crestfallen. He brought a powerful engine to the game, but when all was said and done after Thursday's end of the day run his gut told him he'd be coming up short in the final showdown.

Tony Bischoff (center) watches the numbers with BES Racing Engines on the block.
Sure enough, his instincts were keenly attuned to what was going on, and when the final story had been told, he didn't have it this year. Tony Bischoff started the final day with ginormous numbers and by day's end his score was insurmountable.

Congratulations, Tony. 5X Engine Master has to feel pretty good.
There was still a lot of power on display in the finals. When all was said and done, here's how it all shook out. 

1) SCORE: 3017.4 
ENTRY: BES Racing Engines ENGINE: 401ci Gen III Hemi 
AVERAGE PEAK POWER: 688.67 horsepower, 611.67 lb-ft

2) SCORE: 2920.9 
ENTRY: Bradley Built Engines ENGINE: 417ci Gen III Hemi 
AVERAGE PEAK POWER: 699.07 horsepower, 615.70 lb-ft

3) SCORE: 2913.5 
ENTRY: “Also BES,” John Lohone ENGINE: 401 LS 
AVERAGE PEAK POWER: 674.00 horsepower, 595.33 lb-ft

4) SCORE: 2904.1 
ENTRY: School of Automotive Machinists ENGINE: 436ci LS 
AVERAGE PEAK POWER: 725.33 horsepower, 644.00 lb-ft

5) SCORE: 2875.4 
ENTRY: Jon Kasse Racing ENGINE: 404ci Kaase Boss 9 
AVERAGE PEAK POWER: 677.33 horsepower, 597.00 lb-ft

For more details, and photos, visit the Hot Rod Blog.

Here are some additional shots from Lima, Ohio last week.

The Bradley Built Engine had some cool Brazilian technology affixed.
The local media dropped by to put our story on the evening news.
That's an oil pan, not a bed pan. All week the staff was exceedingly helpful.
John Lohone, like the other top guns, had double plugs per cylinder.
This was a first EMC for Hot Rod editor David Kennedy, here addressing the banquet.
The Brad Nagel made an impressive run, but came up short. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day Five: AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge. Bischoff Throws Down the Gauntlet

Last night's Engine Masters Banquet was enjoyable as always. Clarence Barnes was once again Master of Ceremonies for the evening. It became apparent that this was a transition year for the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge. David Freiburger and David Kennedy, editors from Hot Rod magazine, each shared their enthusiasm for the new possibilities for the future of the Challenge. Ed Zinke, head of the EMC, was honored for his hard work and vision for the event.

This morning Johnny Hunkins explained some of the changes he envisions for the future. "It’s going to be a launching pad for all kinds of cool things. I think with the resources that Hot Rod Magazine can bring to bear on the Engine Masters Challenge they’ll be able to entice a lot of other people into the fray and bring in both different manufactures and engine builders that we didn’t have the resources or reach to bring in. So it’s a jumping off point. I’ve been with Engine Masters for 11 years since 2003 so I’ve seen it grow and run its natural course and I think it’s going to be a great thing."

The banquet ended with Ed Newman of AMSOIL drawing the running order out of a hat for today's final showdown. That running order today turned out to be: Tony Bischoff of BES first, Brad Nagel of Bradley Built Engines next, John Lahone of ALSO BES third, Chris Bennett of School of Automotive Machinists fourth and finally 5X champion Jon Kaase of Jon Kaase Racing.

This morning Tony Bischoff was set up twenty minutes early, hoping to start as soon as possible to take advantage of the cool morning air, but the start time was officially 7:30 so he had to wait.

The new rules this year permitted teams to carryover unused time from their qualifying runs in order to make adjustments during the final day on the dyno. Bischoff would have an additional 21 minutes to work with for any modifications required to get maximum results.

Tony Bischoff (second from left) with Team B.E.S. Racing Engines
When all was said and done, Tony was clearly on top of his game. Steve Dulcich, Editor in Chief and brand manager of Engine Masters Magazine, stated, "I don’t think anyone’s going to catch Bischoff. He’s so far in front, he’s gone. I’d be shocked if anyone came anywhere close to where Bischoff is performing.

"There’s a lot of tricks on that Bischoff motor. Stuff that you wouldn’t expect. The way he’s using the carburetor. You might think it’s peculiar that he’s got a carburetor and in the past all the top finishers were using fuel injection. Now why is that? There might be a reason. Bischoff is on to something there, I’ve got a few hints on what it is but I’ve been sworn to secrecy and I’m not gonna disclose anything at this point. But Bischoff, he plays all the angles and he doesn’t miss a trick. That’s why he’s a winner, that’s why he’s leading this competition right now. He’s not the only one but at this show, he’s the best."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Joe Carroll Talks About Engine Building and AMSOIL

Many of the builders here are modest, and highly respected, among them Joe Carroll of Stonewall, Louisiana. According to competition director Wes Roberson he's a very astute builder. "He does very detailed work and leaves very little to chance."

After pulling some strong numbers we took a few minutes to learn more about his passions.

How did you get into Engine Building?

Joe Carroll: I used to work at an engine shop years ago, and it’s turned into a hobby. I’m a lineman, that’s how I make my living. If I had to build engines for a living then I’d probably be living in a cardboard box somewhere. It’s a hobby, it’s kind of a passion that me and some friends of ours do.

How did you get into Engine Masters?

JC: We began coming to Engine Masters when a friend of mine came in 2006 and we went to NYC and fell in love with the idea and the people around. It’s kind of turned into a family reunion every year so we just enjoy coming up here visiting, bringing a piece and see how we stand up against everybody.

Have you been coming every year?

JC: We’ve come every year since 2006. We came with our own piece in 2007 and have been here ever since.

Your take on AMSOIL?

JC: We love the Break-In Oil. We tried some before in another brand and the motor would kind of huff for a while when we did a Ford years ago. When we got on the AMSOIL, you’ll see a little almost steam come out of the breather before we pull. Then everything seals up and you can tell the numbers pick up on the dyno. That was our dead giveaway on it. The fuel numbers went up so that was a big plus for us. We left it in for I think 15 pulls and we left it in through the whole time. Then we came here and we dropped it and put the real deal in and we saw a little bit more horsepower, so that was a little more of a bonus for us this year.

Have you used AMSOIL in the past?

We’ve used AMSOIL in the past, and we’ve now gone to running it in our dirt bikes. We use the 2-stroke oil, too. It burns real clean so we’ve been impressed with everything that they’ve had. We’ve had to kind of shop around for it but we end up getting it and that’s all we’ve been running anymore.

* * * *

As of 2:00 p.m. Joe Carroll is still in the hunt.

Day Four: Big Guns at the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge

In second place after good dyno run.
It's all business here at UNOH in Lima as we open up the Day 4 of the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge. We arrive to find RCS Racing Engine / RCS-AMS on the block in Dyno Cell #1. The Ford 414 kicked out enough power to propel the team into second place as we start this final day of prelims.

Team captain Ron Stanislawczyk (left) has been building engines since he was a boy. His company, RCS Racing Engines has been building them for over 30 years. "We’re a pretty big facility. We built over 5,000 race engines in the past thirty years. We do dirt, asphalt, limited classes, crate engine classes. From NHRA Pro Stock, IHRA Pro-Stock, all the way down to the competition classes," said Stanislawczyk.

In the next cell Adney Brown of Performance Crankshaft was setting up. Brown selected Dominator 5W-20 for his 414 cu. in. Chevy engine, which took fourth place the first year he brought it. But the technology has changed significantly since then and he's thinking it may be time to step up. "It’s always been a good experience, good people, really an enjoyable competition," Brown noted.

The numbers tell the story.
Third up was Chris Thomas of Almost Kaase. Jon Kaase picked up Chris from the School of Automotive Machinist and it's clear the young man has received some strong training. After getting the engine hooked up, Jon Kaase went in and had the vent adjusted, saying, "This engine needs all the air it can get." When all was said and done, Team Almost Kaase leaped to the top of the heap with some superlative numbers.

Bradley Built Engines is on Dyno 2 getting ready to run, and then we'll break for lunch. Here are a few photos from today's action thus far.
Brad Nagel pouring 0W-20 into his 417 Hemi.
Adney Brown prepares his Chev.
Hot Rod magazine getting the inside line on event coverage.
Between dyno runs, everyone is editing, sending, messaging, & just plain busy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Day Three of the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge is in the books.

Students assist with a teardown in the staging area.
It's the end of Day Three already as the 2014 AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge moves toward its culmination. Presenting sponsor Hot Rod magazine is all over this event with publishers, editors, a media team and assorted staff overseeing the action.

As in years past, forty students from the University of Northwestern Ohio have the privilege of assisting with moving engines from the staging area, hooking them up on the dynos and helping with the teardowns afterwards.It's a great learning experience that would be near impossible to replicate in the real world. Most young builders will get their first jobs in an environment that does things  certain way. A later job might teach them new tricks. But here, these young people can work with 30 builders who each apply different techniques and secrets for maximizing power.

When asked what he's learned from his involvement with the Engine Masters Challenge, Michael Kilgore, a student from Jacksonville, Florida stated, "I've learned how technical you have to be with the all the particulars with the parts, and how mathematical you have to be with it. Everybody has their way of doing things, everybody has a specific way they want to do it, so you learn different methods. You have to listen to every engine builder and see what they do and what they want to do. So you take all that and add it together for yourself."

The process runs like this. Engines are unloaded into the staging area. The crated engines are uncrated, placed on cradles on dollies. At the appointed time, each team’s engine is rolled to one of the two dyno cells where the engines are hooked up. No one is inside the room when the engine is run through its paces, watching the activity through a large window with shatterproof glass.

On the first four days of the competition the objective is to become one of the top six finalists who will go for the gold on Friday. Or rather, the big check, and the prestige that accompanies earning the title of Engine Master. Those top engines are conveyed to a locked room where they cannot be tampered with between their first runs and the final event. Tomorrow will be dramatic as top builders push their way in and crowd someone else out.

Dyno operator Sidney Bonnecarrere is back in the driver's seat here in the dyno cells. Sidney ensures that every run gets loaded and pushed through identical paces from 2500 rpm to 6500 rpm. Bonnecarrere does all the throttle work on all the dynos throughout the week with a detached objectivity to maximize fairness. Each builder team and EMC staff watch from the control room where the measurement equipment spits out data.

Although each team still has only thirty minutes to run through their paces, there has been a change in the rules regarding how that time is used. In the past they would get three warm up pulls, after which the team would have three minutes to study the data. They were then allotted fifteen minutes to make adjustments. When this time is up, three more dyno pulls are completed and those numbers were final. This year, however, teams can make as many pulls as they want in the allotted half hour, and choose the best numbers from any pull in the batch. We're certain that this will result in some intriguing new strategies, as we have already seen.

The competition director is again Wesley Roberson of West Monroe, Louisiana who has served with the NHRA since 1968. According to Ed Zinke, publisher of the performance group of magazines with TEN, this competition is significantly different from timed engine building events. And this year's competitors, he noted, are running very tight numbers. It will be interesting, as always, to see what the next day will bring.

To see day by day action and constantly updated results, visit

Randy Malik of R.M. Competition after his run.

Semco Performance grinding out the numbers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day Two: AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge is Movin'

Team 24: Raceheads
Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines. 
~Enzo Ferrari  

The AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge is as much about imagination as it is mechanics, physics and chemistry. If this year's crop of contenders brings as much imagination to the challenge as last year's teams, we'll have another week of drama, and perhaps even some laughs. AMSOIL Technical Product Manager Len Groom is on the scene watching the numbers as day two moves through the paces.

According to Hot Rod magazine, "The Engine Masters Challenge was the brainchild of Scott Parkhurst and the Popular Hot Rodding magazine staff way back in the year 2000. The idea was simple: they shoot out three different engines on the same dyno under the same conditions and with a clear set of rules used to establish a single winner. Fourteen years later the rules are far from simple and the entries more diverse, but today’s AMSOIL-sponsored event has boomed into an industry accepted standard of excellence and innovation that rewards competitors with big cash payouts based on parts contingency."

Henderson Poweraports set to pour in 5W-20
Inasmuch as Popular Hot Rodding recently ceased its print publication, the AMSOIL EMC is now presented by HOT ROD for 2014 and beyond. To get you up-to-speed on what's new in 2014, here is a chart we grabbed from the Hot Rod blog showing the highlights of how this year's competition differs from last year.

Pay special attention to the manner in which spacers are being used or prohibited. We saw some very creative configurations last year. Another area of differentiation we'll see is in the oil viscosity selection. All will be using AMSOIL synthetic motor oils, but some have chosen to go with the thinner Dominator 5W-20 oil, whereas others sprang for the thicker 10W-30 or 15W-50.

The competition runs from October 6-10 with 29 builders and 30 engines duking it out for points on the Superflow/DTS dynomometer at the University of Northwestern Ohio’s High Performance Motorsports center. Stay tuned!

Breaking News! Top Truck Challenge Episode 1 Is Live

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity...” ― John Muir

Top Truck Challenge is one of the great events that happens every spring and with the advent of the internet we can relive it all throughout the year beginning this week on Motor Trend's YouTube Channel. The powers that be at The Enthusiast Network (publishers of Hot Rod, Four Wheeler and other high profile enthusiast magazines) has cut a swath across cyberspace and is eager to share the exciting content they once only presented in print.

This week's release of five episodes has totally different content than the DVD which will be available soon. Follow along and see what the Four Wheeler Top Truck Challenge has become one of the most exciting events in off-roading.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Day One: AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge

Buck Hinkle's beautiful 409 Hemi.
This is it. The AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge at the University of Northwestern Ohio is rockin', with engines in the loading bay ready to roll to the dynos. The dyno cells have been dialed in, and the facilities immaculate as always.

Ed Zinke and team have once again spent a year in preparation for this intense week of competition. Today is day one.

Monday is generally a lighter day of action and this year is no exception, but it's a good day for getting a feel for how things are going to play out. And it has to be a thrill to be in the first set of competitors because the top six are placed in a holding area until a bigger dog pushes you out. At least for the time being each of the first engines are in the running.

Buck Hinkle of Hinkle Performance Engines was slated to run first, followed by Eric Weingartner and his team, Weingartner Racing II. Third on the schedule is Barry Rabotnik of Survival Motorsports.

It's a great experience for every engine builder and a fantastic learning opportunity for the students who have the privilege of contributing to the overall success of the event.

Stay tuned. It's going to be an exciting week in Lima, Ohio.

Tuning the beast: Weingartner Racing II  

Friday, October 3, 2014

What Makes Aaron Rodgers Such A Great Quarterback

Last night Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers threw his 200th touchdown pass. It only took 99 games to achieve this milestone and only one passer in NFL history accomplished this feat more quickly. The week before against the Chicago Bears Rodgers reached the 25,000 yards passing milestone, and this was accomplished faster than any player in history, bar none.

What is it that makes athletes like Rodgers exceptional? Is there a common denominator in great hitters, great infielders, great goalies, great quarterbacks and great race car drivers. And is there a way we can use this information to become exceptional ourselves?

Lambeau Field end zone.
There are undoubtedly many qualities that contribute to success, but one in particular that seems especially common to all is the ability to anticipate. Alertness, focus, anticipation. Here’s an excerpt from a blog called Axon Potential which deals with the mindset of athletes:

"Based on athletes’ reports and technology that tracks their eye movements, we know that athletes anticipate what’s coming next by focusing only on the most relevant cues in an opponents’ movement pattern. And that this skill changes and becomes refined with training. The eyes of novices are all over the place, whereas athletes’ focus is much more targeted and economical. Across a number of different sports, expert athletes demonstrate similar “visual search strategies”. Their eyes focus on fewer targets, jump around less, and they stay focused for longer periods of time than do the eyes of novices."

This is a fascinating concept because in a world filled with a gazillion pieces of information flying at us from all directions, how do we process it all? The key for Aaron Rodgers when he faces down 11 defenders has more to do with which information not to process, and identifying the right cues so as to obtain the most effective result. Crowd noise and stunt maneuvers by defensive linemen are all distractions.

In a world filled with marketplace noise, your ability to make wise decisions can be compromised when you lose focus. When it comes to maintenance of your vehicles and other equipment, you can count on AMSOIL to give you reliable information. Bookmark and know that we're committed to providing you with information that is reliable, both on our website or when you need to call our technical staff regarding a more complicated issue.

If you're not familiar with our story, a great place to begin is

(c) Can Stock Photo

Thursday, October 2, 2014

SEMA Feature of the Week: 6Pack Prepares for SEMA Debut as Cameras Roll

AMSOIL is slated to make an appearance in several high-profile, beautifully designed show vehicles at the 2014 SEMA show next month in Las Vegas. Included in the roster is Michael Vallery’s 2015 Chevrolet 3500 Dually, currently undergoing extensive modifications to prepare for its place in the American Force booth. Vallery has been perfecting his craft since modifying his first truck at age 15, guided only by the pages of automotive magazines for reference. Prior to that, he got his start at age 5 after noticing the paint fading on his red Power Wheels jeep. He did what any future gearhead would do; he found some spray paint and decided to spruce it up himself.

We caught up with Vallery to get his take on his first SEMA-bound project, having his build filmed from start to SEMA, and how it came to be known as ‘6Pack’…and it’s not only because it rolls on six semi-truck wheels.

Is this your first time attending SEMA as a project builder?

Michael Vallery: This is my first year attending SEMA with a project. I've always been interested in cars and trucks. I started modifying them myself with my first truck, my grandpa's 1986 Chevy C10, at the age of 15.

What are your favorite modifications that make this truck ‘you’?

MV: I would have to say my favorite mods to this truck would have to be the bodydrop and the 24" semi wheels. We knew going into this that the bodydrop was going to be a huge amount of work. But me and my builder Jake McKiddie both wanted it done. There are not that many Chevy duallies out there that are bodydropped with the Duramax diesel under the hood. The motor is gigantic. We both knew that most likely, it was going to be the only bodydropped 2015 Chevy dually at SEMA this year. I've always loved lowered trucks. I've built a lifted truck before, but I always end up coming back to the lowered side. The semi wheels make the truck for me. I've grown up in a family owned and operated trucking business, so I've been around 18- wheelers my whole live. I think it's safe to say that trucks are in my blood.

You’ve got a video feature planned with Solo Films DVD. Can you tell us about that?

MV: SoloFilms is in the process of filming the build of the truck from start to finish. The upcoming DVD will include interviews with myself and Jake, as well as footage from the shop with Jake doing his thing on the truck. The plan is for the crew to ride out to SEMA with us. They'll be able to film along the way and catch the truck in the booth at the show, as well as the rest of the show.

Any other upcoming media features/coverage?

MV: Truckin’ Magazine has also agreed to do a full feature article on the truck. If I'm lucky, you might be seeing it on the cover! Slam'd Mag is a new online magazine. They are quickly on the rise and I knew I wanted to be able to have the truck grace the pages of their publication. Be on the lookout for a full feature from Slam'd Mag also!

Is there a story behind the truck being named “6Pack”?

MV: When I started this project, I knew I needed a name that was "short and sweet." I thought about it for a few days. Most of the "catchy" names that I thought of were already taken. I wanted something that I personally haven't heard of. I enlisted the help of a friend, and he mentioned that it should be something involving the word "six" or the number "6" since the truck has six wheels. We both looked around at what we were doing, and there it was…"6Pack".

If you could select any car in the world to customize to your specs, what would it be?

MV: When we start talking about choosing just one car in the world to modify, it's hard to choose. There are several that I can quickly think of that I want to put my own touch on. One in particular that comes to mind though, is a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396. That was my dad's first car. I would love to be able to get my hands on one in order to build it the same way his was, for him. It was a pretty slick car. It was blue with white dual racing strips with a white vinyl top.

Why did you choose AMSOIL?

MV: I chose AMSOIL products mainly due to the great things I have always heard concerning their products. Obviously, anyone would want only the best when it came to a brand new truck with only 600 miles on the odometer!

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that describes you?

MV: As far as a quote that describes me, I've always liked "You must always push the limits, because if you never fail, you will never succeed." As I was growing up, I had a poster on my bedroom wall that had that quote on it. Sometimes I can be a little conservative but for the most part, I like pushing the limits on everything I do…except when it comes to speeding. I hate paying tickets!

AMSOIL under the hood:
AMSOIL Premium 15W-40 Synthetic Diesel Oil
Absolute Efficiency Oil Filter
Signature Series Fuel-Efficient Synthetic ATF
Severe Gear 75W-90 Gear Lube
Antifreeze and Engine Coolant
Dominator Coolant Boost
Series 500 High-Performance Brake Fluid
Synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease
Diesel Injector Clean

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bobby Unser Quotes Provide Inspiration

Fans of the Indy 500 all know the powerhouse racing families that thrilled fans of the Brickyard. Over the past half century the Unsers have been among the most recognized names in racing.

A Cars and Parts article about Robby Unser today reminded us that the Unser story is still a work in progress. The last page has yet to be written as another generation of Unsers makes a name for itself. 9X Pike's Peak Hill Climb champion Robby is son of 13X Pike's Peak champion Bobby, a 3X Indy 500 winner.

Bobby Unser has been a long-time friend of the AMSOIL family from the company's earliest years. It seems like a good day for sharing several inspirational quotes from Robby's father.

"Success is where preparation and opportunity meet."

"Yellow usually means it's not that serious."

"Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second."

"I feel honesty always works."

Here's a brief video spot in which Bobby explains one of his secrets of success.

And then here's one more quote worth sharing from the senior Unser: "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire."

It's easy to see why AMSOIL founder A.J. Amatuzio and Bobby Unser hit it off. They were both driven by passion. What driving you?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Where to Find AMSOIL Locally

The Original, 1972
There was a time when people weren't sure what synthetic oil really was. AMSOIL, the company that brought this new technology to the passenger car market in 1972, didn't have the deep pockets of the major oil companies, and this new kind of oil was something of a mystery to car owners, and seemed expensive. Conventional oil had become a commodity and was used as a loss leader by the nation's auto parts outlets. One thing for certain, once you "got it" you didn't go back.

Twenty years later, things began to change. Due in part to pressures to improve fuel economy, and in part due to the increased performance demands of internal combustion engines, most of the major oil companies followed the AMSOIL lead and began to add synthetic oil to their product lineups. What they didn't have, however, was the two decades experience in formulating premium synthetic lubricants for any and every kind of engine application, and the lessons learned from billions of miles service by real life customers.

In the beginning people asked what it was. Today, people understand the value of AMSOIL synthetic oils and and fluids, and the question now asked is, "Where can I find it?"

AMSOIL is available at our online store at, but you can also use our Online Locator to find an AMSOIL Dealer or retail outlet in your own home town.

For a great video about our roots and our history, visit and see what we're really all about.

Friday, September 26, 2014

AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge Update: Two Weeks Away from Crowning New Power Kings

For those who have been following, the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge (EMC) is a premiere event that pits some of the nations best engine builders in a head-to-head dyno competition unlike any other.

A news story today talks about the roots of the EMC. The Engine Masters Challenge was the brainchild of Scott Parkhurst and the Popular Hot Rodding magazine staff way back in the year 2000. The idea was simple: they shoot out three different engines on the same dyno under the same conditions and with a clear set of rules used to establish a single winner.  

5X winner Jon Kaase making adjustments.
Earlier this year Popular Hot Rodding magazine was folded into the powerful Hot Rod magazine, a change that will only help give the competition an even higher profile. There are other changes for 2014, as editor Steve Dulcich explains. “The competition will be scored in a new way, taking an aggregate score based on average horsepower and torque over the entire scored operating rpm range and then adding in the peak power and torque per cubic inch in determining the final score. The effect of this change in the scoring system is to place a higher weight on peak horsepower and torque numbers. This will reduce the influence on the score of engine performance at very low rpm.” 

One thing that will remain a constant is the excitement generated beginning the morning of October 6 when the first engines are brought into their respective dyno cells. One Friday October 10, two weeks from today and at approximately this very hour, the 2014 AMSOIL Engine Masters champion team will be announced.

Read Thursday's Hot Rod news for more details.

Special thanks to everyone at the University of Northwest Ohio (UNOH) for providing such great facilities and hospitality. We look foward to seeing you soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Help Us Find the Stolen Vintage Motorcycles

A couple weeks back we did a blog story here about the coast-to-coast motorcycle adventure called The Cannonball Run, a long-distance marathon on vintage motorcycles. American Iron editor Buzz Kanter and three team mates were making the run again this year, and AMSOIL was helping keep their bikes lubed for the duration.

Yesterday news came out that the motorcycles of four other riders were stolen, a heartbreaking way to be taken out of an event like this which ought to be a joyous, even if grueling, group experience.

We're posting the story here in the hopes that if you know people who know people we want to help get the word out to you. The four vintage Harley-Davidsons were stolen from the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington. There's a $20,000 reward being offered by Team Carson Classic Motors.

The news broke here at the Cycle World website where you can read full details on the types of motorcycles that were taken and what you can do to help apprehend the criminals.

Johnny Cash's Rolls-Royce for Sale

We're all familiar with his deep baritone voice. "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash." So began his live concerts for a time, identifying with down-and-outers, performing in prisons, and representing the heart of Americana. He was The Man in Black, and his iconic career crossed multiple genres of music from rock and roll, rockabilly and blues to folk, and gospel.

This week a Rolls-Royce once gifted to this star musician was in the news, going up for sale at auction, with no reserve. The Rolls was given to Cash by ABC back when he had his television variety show. It was used to ferry him around for more than a decade before being sold to a private owner in the 1980s.

The history of Rolls-Royce is a long one, nearly as old as the auto industry itself. From the getgo it was a premium car that turned heads and emptied bank accounts. There were only 100 Rolls-Royces a year being sold in the United States when adman David Ogilvy was hired to expand the company's reach into the U.S. market. Ogilvy agreed to do what he could with the $50,000 they paid and he produced a single, well-placed ad that tripled the company's sales. The ad headline proclaimed, "A 60 miles per hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock." In the following year 300 new cars were shipped to America. You can see that ad and read the rest of the ad copy here.

Charles Rolls was the first undergraduate at Cambridge to own a car, and needless to say he had a passion. When he met Sir Henry Royce the two hit it off. Royce's attention to detail and pursuit of perfection were just the kinds of qualities Rolls valued and the two set about building the best cars in the world.

Today the company continues to maintain the same high standards that put them in the history books. The manufacturer still pursues the same attention to detail. They are also aiming to expand their market by appealing to a new generation of young style-driven owners. Car & Driver magazine, in an article featuring 25 cars worth waiting for shines a spotlight on the new 2-door version of the Rolls-Royce Ghost called the Wraith. If you're a billionaire the $300,000 price tag is probably chump change.

The photos here are of a striking Rolls-Royce courtesy Can Stock.
(c) Can Stock Photo

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sled Rehab Provides a Thrill for Three at Haydays

An exciting new look for first place winner Traci Leonard's Arctic Cat M6.
It may not feel like winter at this moment, but the official kick-off for snowmobile enthusiasts already took place several weeks ago in North Branch, Minnesota. Hay Days, an annual event sponsored by the Sno Barons Snowmobile Club, is an annual acknowledgement that summer's days are numbered, for better or for worse. For winter sports enthusiasts like skiers and snowmobilers, it's for better.

One of the events in this year's Hay Days carnival was the AMSOIL Sled Rehab competition. By means of social media AMSOIL offered snowmobile owners a chance to take their old sleds and have them refurbished for the 21st century. If you had a sled, 1996 or newer -- mechanically sound and in good running condition -- that could use a makeover, you were invited to upload a photo of your sled and tell your story. Three sleds were ultimately chosen for makeovers which would then take place at Hay Days.

The snowmobile makeovers included a custom sled wrap from Action Graphics plus C&A Pro Skis, hand guards, clutch kits and premium AMSOIL products for snowmobiles. It was a pretty sweet deal and the winners appreciated the attention they garnered for their machines. Other sponsors included ISOC, Scheuring Speed Sports, Sled Head 24/7, Straightline Performance and Woody's.

Thomas TeBeest's '08 MXZ TNT 500ss
Josh Bretzman: '06 Sno Pro 440 

First place winner Traci Leonard moved to Michigan's Upper Peninsula a year ago primarily for her love of snowmobiling. She's always loved to ride, but even moreso now that her 2005 Arctic Cat M6 has been rehabbed. When she learned that she was winner of the AMSOIL Sled Rehab she said,
"OMG I am so excited!! This has seriously been like the best week of my life."

You can see the end result at the top of this page, and what she used to ride below.

Before photo of Traci's basic black Cat. It's now a whole new machine.
Meantime, we're just about two months away from the Duluth Nationals snocross races that initiates a new snowmobile racing season. We'll see you on the mountain.

Friday, September 19, 2014

SEMA Feature of the Week: Holden Tribute G8

Up next in the SEMA vehicle blog series is this sweet Pontiac G8/GT, a unique ride that likely won’t be found anywhere else on the SEMA show floor. Owner Mike Passarge purchased this Australian-built Pontiac and transformed it into a bona-fide race vehicle in tribute to the V8 Supercar Series. His vision was the right one and his hard work paid off; soon after he landed a partnership with Holden Racing, and his G8 is the only non-racing vehicle in the country to fly their team graphics.

In addition to being invited to SEMA as a booth vehicle for Spec-D Tuning, Passarge will be on hand at SEMA Ignited to showcase his ride after the party. SEMA Ignited is a brand new after-show that brings out exquisite SEMA booth vehicles for public viewing consumption. This event allows the public and media to witness the industry’s latest and greatest parts in action after spending the week behind closed doors. We caught up with Passarge to get a little background info on his G8 and how he came to bring inspiration from down under to the US.

What drew you to the Pontiac G8 GT model? Is this your first project vehicle?

The Pontiac G8 was just an awesome set up at the best price. With it coming from Australia, I knew the look and performance would be great. I have been on the car scene since I was 16 and have fixed up many cars.

Tell us how your vision came to be. What is it about this car that makes it ‘you’?

After I bought the car and found out they raced them in the V8 Supercar Series, it became my new vision for my car. I like to put my own little flare on all my builds. I tried to make it look like a true V8 Supercar, but put my own style on it since the parts for this car are not available in the states. Many of my parts had to come from Australian companies.

Tell us about your partnership with Holden. How did you become the first non-race vehicle to receive their support?

To make my car look the part I came into contact with a great person from the Holden Racing Team. In explaining my vision to him of this tribute build, he knew I was serious about this and would give the upmost respect to the image of the Holden name. They offered me the actual race graphics off the team cars. I am the only one in the US with this awesome privilege and I am a Holden Race fan for life!

Is this your first time attending SEMA?

This will be the third time this car has been to SEMA. I am blessed that every time I change the car up to make it look different, someone wants it for SEMA. This will be my final build on this car and it will stay a tribute car to Holden Racing.

Why did you choose AMSOIL? Any favorite product?

I chose AMSOIL because of the quality of product and their reputation. They seem to take care of us non-professionals. There is no favorite product from AMSOIL. Every product available for my car, it’s in there. I take pride in my ride just as AMSOIL takes pride in their product, and that's why we make such a good match.

Has the car received any media coverage or car show awards recently? Any memorable moments on the car show scene?

Holden Media will be doing a build story after SEMA on the G8. I hope to get into a few magazines after this build, which will most likely be overseas. I love going to car shows with the G8. I have removed all badges and it has changed so much in appearance that most people don’t even know what it is. Only the true Pontiac and Aussie race fans know what the build is about. I think my car is one of those “Love it or Hate it” cars.

We love it. Do you have a favorite quote or motto that describes you?

My quote I often use is "To each their own". I never dog someone’s ride…everyone’s vision is different, and that’s what makes the car scene so great.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week: Keep On Truckin'

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 14-20, is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. There are more than 3.2 million professional men and women who not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe.

Here's an interesting infographic with a variety of interesting facts about American truckers. Some of the things you might learn that you didn't know include the number of commercial trucks in the U.S., the average age of today's truckers, how many miles per year the average trucker drives, the five top movies for truck lovers, and comparisons between cars and trucks in terms of engine size, horsepower and miles driven. And much more!

In short, there's probably a lot you don't know about the trucking industry.

Americans are more dependent on the trucking industry than most Americans are aware of. This article is very instructive in with regards to what would happen if all trucking were to cease today. Not only are our food and medical supplies dependent on trucking, our stores would eventually be out of stock and our gas stations out of fuel. Eventually, in much of the country our clean water supplies would be threatened and life as we know it will no longer be taken for granted.

The power to deliver all these goods comes from engines and drivetrains which require lubrication to operate properly. Just as we take all this shipping activity for granted, a lot of people (including truckers) take their lubricants for granted and do not realize that a premium synthetic oil can actually make a difference in fuel economy and bottom line savings. In one diesel fleet fuel economy study, AMSOIL synthetic drivetrain lubricants were shown to increase fuel economy in short-to-medium haul trucking applications by 6.54 percent.  Another EPA Federal Test Procedure demonstrated how switching to AMSOIL Premium API CJ-4 5W-40 Synthetic Diesel Oil generated fuel economy improvements of 1.25 to 3.10% compared to conventional 15W-40 diesel oil.

The trucking industry accounts for 12.8% of all fuel purchased in the United States. Could this be reduced a little if we switched all these fleets to AMSOIL?

For what it's worth... we're grateful for our nation's truckers, male and female, young and old. Keep on truckin'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hellcat Aerodynamics Might Just Take Your Breath Away

“If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.” ― Mario Andretti

Assuming you feel a need for speed, it may be of interest to you that Dodge has stepped up its game with the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat. Not to be outdone by Ford's recent crop of Mustangs and Chevy's Corvette Stingray Supercar, the Hellcat boasts some serious power, reminding us of those muscle car rivalries of days gone by.

You can't really say, "Cars are fun again," because they've always been fun, but the Hellcat is certainly turning heads and making an impression.

CBS news anchor Dan Rather once quipped, "Americans will put up with anything as long as it doesn't block traffic." And you can be sure this feisty beast is not going to be blocking traffic.

Last week, posted a story by editor Michael Harding on how the Hellcat's aerodymics enable the car to surpass 200 miles per hour. That's breathtakingly fast, and there aren't a lot of places you can play at that speed. But it's nice to know if you need a little extra thrust, you've got it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why is there a time limit – in addition to a mileage limit – on motor oil?

Most vehicles carry a motor oil service-life recommendation that includes a duration of time in addition to a mileage distance. For example, your vehicle might call for an oil change every 5,000 miles or six months. It’s obvious that thousands of miles of driving will take its toll on engine oil, but less obvious is the role time plays in breaking down motor oil.

Even when you’re not driving, chemical changes take place within motor oil that lead to degradation and the need for an oil change. Oxidation is a prime culprit. The interaction between oxygen molecules and motor oil molecules naturally leads to chemical breakdown. Just as oxygen causes a cut apple to brown or exposed metal to rust, it breaks down base oils and reduces motor oil’s effectiveness. Although synthetic base-oil molecules are naturally much more resistant to oxidation than conventional base-oil molecules, they eventually succumb to oxidation’s attack. Oxidation can lead to increased oil viscosity, which negatively affects energy efficiency. It also causes the formation of harmful deposits and sludge.

Your vehicles are also subjected to temperature swings, even when not in use. Temperature swings cause condensation to form inside the engine, leading to water contamination. Not driving for extended periods – or taking short trips that don’t allow the engine to fully warm up – allows water to remain in the oil rather than evaporating and exiting through the tailpipe. Water contributes to engine corrosion.

When you do drive, contaminants form as natural byproducts of combustion. Acids lead to sludge formation and corrosion, and those acids and other contaminants continue to affect chemical changes in the oil, even while not driving.

Even though all motor oils have to eventually be changed regardless of mileage, high-quality synthetic oils – like AMSOIL synthetic motor oils – allow you to go longer between oil changes for maximum convenience and cost savings. Premium synthetic motor oils also offer increased resistance to oxidation for excellent engine protection, making them the right choice even if you don’t practice extended drain intervals. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated with advanced chemicals that resist breakdown, disperse contaminants and clean internal parts to continue delivering outstanding performance and protection long after conventional oils have to be changed. Check out all AMSOIL synthetic motor oils for passenger cars/light trucks.

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
XL Synthetic Motor Oil
OE Synthetic Motor Oil
European Car Synthetic Motor Oil

Photo credits: (c) Can Stock Photo