Tuning Your Car for Racing

Tuned Nissan 240SX

Car tuning is a huge industry. There are several popular styles of tuning, such as Dub and German style. However, race tuning is different from almost all of these. Tuning your vehicle for a race, whether on the track or on the street, will involve several things that most tuning styles do not provide. While most tuning styles do add some elements of performance, there are additional aspects that negate many of the benefits gained. What must you do to tune your car for racing? Here are a few pointers to get you started:

Weight Reduction – If you are serious about racing, one of the first things you must do is lighten the load on your car. You will not find high-performing racecars that have huge speakers and massive audio systems, nor will you find them with chromed steel wheels. Many racers even remove the rear seat (and the passenger seat as well) in their quest for less weight. Lightening the load allows your vehicle to make the most of the engine and transmission it currently has. This results in greater monetary savings, as well as greater performance. In fact, even a modest attempt to remove weight can eliminate 100 pounds of unnecessary weight form a vehicle. Carbon fiber body parts are expensive, but are very strong and reduce weight as well.

Engine PerformanceCold air intakes, porting and polishing the pistons and cylinders, high-flow exhaust, as well as many other enhancements can help you gain better performance for your engine. However, adding horsepower is not what it’s all about. Adding specific enhancements for either low-end torque or high-RPM performance is the goal. Adding too much horsepower can actually reduce the performance of your vehicle, due to the vehicle’s speed-to-weight ratio.

Wheels and Tires – The right wheels and tires are vital to making the most of your speed. Many aftermarket wheels are made of chromed steel or aluminum. While these are great showpieces for the street, they add significant weight to your ride. Racing wheels use ultra-light aluminum or magnesium alloy construction, while gives you a much lighter wheel capable of freeing up additional power. In addition, the right tires are required. Racing slicks are only appropriate for certain types of racing (short track shots), but high speed rated tires are the best option for your need for speed.

Performance Brakes – Kevlar or ceramic performance brake systems and cross-drilled/slotted rotors have a huge impact on your performance. These systems weigh less than OEM brake systems, but provide enhanced stopping power.

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