If you want to do a simple performance upgrade to your car or truck, an intake is the easiest way to go. What do I recommend? That would be the good ole boys over at K&N. I have one on my truck and have no complaints and I have never heard any complaints from anyone else. Now I've heard rumors that the oil they use in their wire filter is not good for your engine (especially on turboed engines or anything not naturally aspirated). From a lot of diesel forums I've heard that it lets way to much dust in and it will clog your turbo.....i call BS. I can believe this to an extent but I do not think it that it will ruin your turbo, I use this intake and a lot of my friends and family use it and many of my friends and family use them, I don't think any of their turbos have blown up yet. K&N makes a wide variety of systems for just about every make and model. They are also pretty moderately priced and i would recommend them to anyone for a simple performance upgrade that just about anyone can do by themselves.
The very first vehicle by Fords SVT team, the Lightning is my favorite pick-up. They were first in production in 1993 and were mainly used at work trucks, that is why they are so hard to come by now a days. Looking at this truck from the outside it looks like a regular half ton but when you look under the hood that all changes. With a 5.8L Windsor V8 putting out 240hp and 340 ft lbs of torque, she can hold her own. The most significant aspect on this truck is the 4.10:1 gear ratio. This is just the icing on the cake to this Ford ledgend. In 1995 there was only 695 red models made and I am proud to say we found one. I don't think you could ever offer me enough money for that truck. Come to think of it I wouldn't want to own any other truck......besides a second generation Lightning but we'll save that for next time.
In the mid sixty's Carol Shelby teamed up with ford to develop a track car that could keep up with the imports like Porsche and Ferrari. That car was the Shelby Cobra. The body is British inspired but the engine is all American. It was a 260 cubic inch 275 hp Ford block. This was just the beginning. In later production a 427 was dropped into these bad boys and with a 4:10 gear ratio these were unstoppable on the track. The super light fiberglass body and aluminum frame reduced the weight drastically. The low center of gravity and wide tire base was excellent for handling. The car does have some drawbacks, it is so light that at the right speed the car could actually lift of the ground, it is also not a top end car these cars will beat anything 0-100 but are very dangerous to drive at top end speeds (believe me I know). I have had the fortune to drive this car on a number of occasions and there is no better feeling then being in the drivers seat of a 445hp Shelby Cobra.
I looked for weeks for an exhaust system for my truck, then I found MBRP. These are simply the best systems and packages you can buy for reasonable prices. They specialize in diesel systems which is what first grabbed my attention then I looked further into their website. From the down pipe back is heavy duty aluminized steel that is guaranteed to never rust through, however surface rust is not warranted. Their tips are made of t409 stainless steel and will never rust not to mention they look sick! I couldn't be happier with the results after installation of this which was also pretty simple. The flow-through muffler design gives you that deep sound with a great turbo whistle. This was worth the buy and I highly recommend it.
The Ford SVT team has had great success for almost two decades with the Lightning and cobra, now its the Raptors turn. This is a Baja inspired design of an F-150 with the help of Fox racing. This is by far my dream truck with a 320hp 5.4l under the hood and 390 ft lbs of torque this is the baddest F-150 on the market.......and this is just the base model, the second generation will have a 6.2l 400hp V8 with 400 ft lbs of torque!!!! Some other specialties of the truck is the 4.10:1 gear ratio which you don't find in many production trucks. SVT really out did themselves with this design, this truck can handle any slope, terrain, jump or load you give it. Another interesting aspect of this truck is the suspension developed by Fox racing. This allows the Raptor to his jumps and take corners at speeds that would cripple other half-ton trucks. The 2011 Raptor gets more than two thumbs up from me.
While the Duramax may not be the loudest or the most high preformance diesel engine on the market, Izuzu and GM have done a very good job designing this engine. The Best part of these engines by far is the transmission. Allison makes trannys from everything to military to these trucks, which use the Allison 1000 and are the best automatic trannys you can buy. I have driven a few Druamax diesels in my life and from what I have experienced I have no complaints. The acceleration was very surprising and shifting was the smoothest I have ever felt in my life. If you ask me these are very reliable engines that will always get the job done for you. Over the years Duramax has produced about 5 series of the engine the earlier LB7 and LLY, then came the LBZ and LMM and the most recent LML. All of these blocks are 6.6L and never had any major problems in production like the 6.0L powerstroke did. Even though I am a true Ford guy if I had to buy one of these trucks I wouldnt think twice between the Allison trannys and GM's new LML that puts out 397hp and 765 ft lbs of torque!........yea you heard me 397hp stock, let me put it this way if you wouldnt buy one of these trucks you can go drive your ricer and I'll roll coal in your window at the next red light.
The sport of Nascar has been dominated the past 5 years by a driver that could soon be in the same class as The Intimidater and The King. Jimmy Johnson has won multiple cups and numerous races. The point standings this year show Jimmy in third Jeff Gordon in second and Tony Stewart in first. Now do I like Jimmy..........NO! I think he is a cocky driver that is cheating constantly. He was even caught with a modified restrictor plate race last year. Now I can honestly say I have grown to like Jeff Gordon over the years and am happy that he is doing good this year. As for the sprint cup's newcomer Joey Logano he is by far a crowd favorite, winning his first race last year in Lounden NH, which I witnessed, he has a long way to go and I hope that he ends up finishing in the top 10 next year. As for Jimmy this year I hope he continues to have his bad luck streak because I don't think i can handle another Jimmy Johnson Sprint cup win.
This is not just a muscle car, it is legendary car enthusiast Carrol Shelby's finest creation. From 1965 to the present day 500 hp mustang Shelby motors and Ford have teamed up to make one of the most amazing muscle cars ever in production. I really believe this car does not get the recognition it deserves. The 2011 gt500 puts out an amazing 500 hp to the rear wheels, 510 ft lbs of torque, has a double overhead cam and comes stock supercharged on a 302 block. This is the fastest production car ever made. Shelby has really come a long way in production. While the new gt500 is one bad muscle car I don't think it will ever match its grandfather. The 1967 Shelby gt500, my all time favorite car. This car was even featured in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds as the ultimate steel. Off the assembly line these cars put out 335 hp and 440 ft lbs of torque on a 428 block. For 1967 this was incredible. Carol Shelby's legacy will always live on through his cars whether it is the Cobra, gt, or Series 1 and who knows what his next idea will be.
The Dodge Cummins is a diesel engine that has intrigued me ever since I got into engines. They have had unbelievable success in the diesel industry from a smaller, less problematic engine. What is so fascinating about the cummins is that all of their engines are straight 6's. What this means is the pistons are aligned in a straight line instead of the normal V configuration. These engines are normally 5.9 or the newer 6.7 liters and push out just as much horsepower and torque as its competitors with a straight 6! Now I am and always will be a Ford guy but these cummins are some pretty incredible engines. I have never heard anyone complain about the engines or the trucks in general not to mention they sound incredible. I think Dodge really stepped outside of the norm when having cummins design this engine and they did a pretty good job if you ask me.
The ford 7.3L powerstroke turbo diesel is by far the best engine that was ever in production. The engine block it self will easily exceed 300,000 miles and still run great as long as it is taken care of. I have owned one for 11 years and never fixed anything internally on the engine. Simple maintenance like pulley's fuel lines and belts are expected. The newer powerstroke engines(6.0L) have all kinds of problems with blown head gaskets and melted O-rings anywhere over 50,000 miles, however these engines were probably modified with chips and programmers. The 7.3l may not have the torque and HP that newer diesels have but it is a reliable engine and will always get 2 thumbs up from me.