Newsletter No 56

 

15 September 2008

15 Years of Nick’s Racing

 

How it all started

I will forward you my promised Dyno-article in the next Newsletter, but right now I want to share a bit of History with you. I hope this does not bore you excessively J

Back in September 1993 Eddie & I opened our shops in the same building in Lafrenz. He became a renowned Diesel Pump specialist but sadly passed away a few weeks back.

Initially American V6 & V8 motors were the rage, though I quickly got rid of the diesel types.

We did conversions on most cars even putting mid mounted 3.8 Buick motors into Combis.

I then saw a big market in modifying normal car engines with the Hilux 2.4 L being a success story on its own. I also moved premises to Krupp Str at that time.

 

Through the years I have had various agencies, K&N being the best seller up till today.

Sadly K&N’s are often confused with budget type filters, which often don’t filter...

Then we had KC Daylighters which were excellent, but now got surpassed by LightForce which have a better light/bigger range and do not crack housings. This stems from a lifetime fascination with Lights.

Even though most cars do not have points anymore, the Ignitor is still a hot seller.

A Year or more back we added the MileMarker Hydraulic winch to our line and find that sells excellently to our neighbouring states where Winches are a necessity & not an option.

 

Nick’s Racing stems from my involvement in Motorsport, through many years culminating in a specialised Racing V8 motor-building shop in Denver. Any sport played professionally will give rise to injuries. So did racing with me, during a spectacular crash in 1993 in Hollister Hills where most of the field used my frail body for traction. This and the finances needed to open shop in Windhoek made me decide to give up Motorsport forever. That is till I met Tomané in Lubango races in 2003 after riding up there by motorbike. This friendship resulted in my final involvement with fielding a 300 Kw Racecar that we campaign in Angola together.

 

The present

In 2004 I had a dynamometer installed which has made the Unichip  a household name.

At the moment the most popular vehicles are the 4.5 Cruiser and bullnose Hilux with a smattering of Golf’s etc. following that. With the price of fuel who does not want a job guaranteed to save you fuel whilst increasing performance. All this is done by just setting the car up right. Cost 2 to 3 thousand N$.

We often fit speed limiters to Rental or Courier vehicles, or increase the limiter such as on the new Landrover Defender from 120 km/h to 160. (We could remove it completely but won’t advise to do this).

Some cars really impress by what they pick-up just from a chip, such as the BMW 335 turbo.

 

Right now most work I get in is to tune an engine right. This is no magic; it simply entails setting up the fuel mixture, timing and other engine management parameters right.

I also do Diesels now and get excellent results on them with the BT50 and 3L D4D being constant customers.

 

A sideline is the UltraOptec range of scopes, which are value-for-money binoculars, Telescopes as well as Gerber Multitools etc. Basically a hobby where I sell what I use myself.

 

Of course we still build performance Exhaust systems in house, as well as stock a range of cams for most vehicles. I still Port heads myself.

 

Discontinued services

A few years ago I stopped doing conversions, as it is too time consuming.

Then I discontinued my line of V8 parts, although I still build complete Engines until I have sold my stock as a job-lot.

The traditional engine modification as in doing Heads, cams etc. is also slowing down due to the fact that it is expensive to do a modern multivalve V-type motor, as well as this trade having gotten a bad rap due to unscrupulous fly-by-night operators.

 

 

The future

So where are we heading off to ?

Difficult to answer, as the automotive industry is Dynamic and I guess the current drive is to be green.

We have experimented with E 85 and tried our hand at lean-burn engines, but in the end neither I nor the customer will obviously fund these projects.

If you had told me 10 years ago I’d be tuning Diesels, I’d have laughed at you.

So if you want to try something that falls within my capabilities, why not contact me ?

 

Niggles

I really enjoy my work, but as can be expected there are a few things that bug, but the first one is:

The guys in the trade are more busy putting down their competitors, that referring them. Doctors seem to have no problem referring their patients to specialists, and neither do lawyers shirk in calling in an experienced Advocate when the time is ripe.

The 2’nd irritation comes from people that have their car “modified” somewhere else and then expect me to wave some magic wand over that job to make it work. Why not sort your job out with the person who did that ? If I get a tough steak at restaurant A, I expect them to sort it out and not take it to restaurant B for tenderising.

Of course bringing in an unprepared vehicle for a tune-up is the best way to waste your money, as I will first have to fix those problems, such as wheel alignment, a leaky Exhaust or radiator or best yet a slipping clutch. If I run a car on the Dyno, I do need fuel. I would think this is logical.

 

Solutions

Since no trade seem to have an effective network in Namibia, I doubt that the automotive trade will ever be able to work together. For my part I do tuning, so services, gearbox repairs etc. I will refer/take to the specialists.

 

If a car has simply been tuned incorrectly somewhere else, it is a simple job for me to re-tune that vehicle. We do this often when cars have been Unichipped in SA and do not meet the owner’s expectancy; 500 to 1000 N$. When an Exhaust has been built incorrectly, it is often easier to just build a new system than to patch the old one. But when a head has been ground to death, the only option is to start with a new head.

 

If you want to bring a standard vehicle to me, put in over 50 % fuel, although I only need 10L or so, and on a front wheel drive check the wheel alignment. Of course the car must be maintained and have no problems as such. If you want me to tune your hot-rod or if your car has problems, let me know what these problems are, to see if we can solve them.

 

To further understand what my background & knowledge base is, do peruse my Website please J http://www.nicksracing.com/

 

I think to log off with this unknown (at least by myself) quote "You have a choice to choose anything you want in this world. Why don't you choose joy ?"

Joy could be driving a well set-up vehicle that does not bankrupt you at the pump.