Newsletter No 61


15 March 2009




Firstly I want to apologise, that I slipped in my last Newsletter.

Here I discussed Vernier pulleys being used to degree a cam spot on, or to enable the tuner to rock the power curve around.

I forgot to mention that I have a problem with the construction of most vernier gears, as it is simply 2 aluminium wheels (inner hub to outer toothed wheel) bolted together in slots to make the assembly adjustable. If you look at the pulses going through a valve train- often breaking belts, especially at idle- I wonder why there is not more care taken in this design ?

I have seen quite a few units fail disastrously. There are 3 options if you have to degree your cam:

1) Once you have degreed your cam, weld the 2 wheels together but be careful not do imbalance them.

2) Improve on the design, but the way I did it years back costs a lot more money than the simple set-up you have right now.

3) My choice ! Once you know where your cam must go, rotate the stock cam gear & make a new slot in it.

So if you do not know how to set-up your vernier gear, junk it and go back to stock ! It is far safer


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Sadly I will discontinue the 3.3 Ford V6, as there are not enough parts floating around for it. In it’s heyday we could get 300 nm @ 3000 Rpm out of it- stock was 200 @ 4000.

To the left is the Dyno graph of one of the last motors we did with stock manifolds. Adding a tuned length exhaust would easily perk it up by another 15+ Kw. This 3.3 motor is superimposed  (dashed lines) on a 3L Ford with a tuned exhaust & K&N.

I should still have enough parts to build one or 2 motors, but then sadly it’s the end of an era L


We have just done some more development on the 4L Ford.

A stage 2 conversion (K&N, Exhaust, Unichip) that produces over 20 Nm Torque at below 2000 RPM and carries that to redline whilst the max power increases by well over 20 Kw at redline.  This we can do for 10 000 N$ incl. all

I guess other companies advertise with bigger gains, but I am sure our vehicles will whip them on the road J

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On Friday we had completed a Navara 4L with a St 2 conversion. Cost is below 11 000 Rands. Sadly there was a misunderstanding about the fitting of a K&N, as I was also sold out on that particular one. Therefore the figure at the left could be even more impressive. But an increase of over 25 Kw and 43 Nm more torque is something you don’t see every day J


Of course we could build this Customer a cold-air intake, although the Apollo unit might be too small for the 270 Hp+ this car is making):

The rest is just figuring out on where to pull in the coldest air possible.

Snorkels are also cold air systems. But beware ! I have found snorkels that actually take power away.



K&N is now enclosing this information flier with their replacement elements.

Because there is so much incorrect information floating around, such as
27. Will a K&N filter cause my vehicle’s mass air sensor to fail?

No, it is both impossible and ridiculous. 

It is impossible because we know that the oil treatment on our cotton is very small (usually less than 2 ounces).  Once the oil is properly and evenly absorbed through the cotton, no oil will come off, even under extreme engine conditions.  It is ridiculous, because no dealership or service provider has ever been able to provide us with evidence to support this “myth,” and in fact, our investigations have revealed that even authorized dealerships are simply speculating and do not have the test equipment necessary to know whether the sensor has failed or why.  It is even more ridiculous because some car manufacturers use and sell air filters treated with oil on a regular basis.  There are also major brands of disposable air filters that are treated with oil.  We all use oil for the same reason, it helps in the filtration efficiency of an air filter.  For more information on this topic including videos, see our Mass Air Flow Sensor Statement page.

Out of the millions of air filters we sell, we only receive a handful of consumer complaints each month that a dealership or service provider has blamed a vehicle sensor repair on our product.  We take each complaint very seriously and see it as an opportunity to stop a consumer from being taken advantage of.  We investigate the situation thoroughly and take full responsibility for resolving the issue.  For more information on how we educate and persuade the service provider to reconsider their position, see Mass Air Flow Sensor Information & Testing.  We are so confident in our ability to resolve these situations and to help a consumer fight back that we offer our Consumer Protection Pledge

As a result of our standing up for consumer rights and providing assistance to resolve a disagreement, we have had over 100 actual sensors sent to us by dealerships who claimed our product had caused them to fail.  Microscopic, electronic and chemical testing revealed that none of the sensors were contaminated by K&N oil (K&N Detailed MAF Sensor Test Results). What is perhaps the single biggest clue to what is going on is that over 50% of these sensors were not broken in the first place for any reason. Click here for more information on how this may happen.

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Our range of Plug’nPlays, using the Unichip in a dedicated harness the vehicle owner can remove & refit at will, has increased dramatically.

This is nothing else but a Unichip that is not wired in, but plugged into your stock wiring harness.

Mostly the same tuning.  Either one I can fine-tune or tune from scratch.


I quite often get a request for “performance” or “racing” spark plugs.

This is a myth !

There is a certain plug suitable for a certain engine. You get different electrode configurations as well as materials they are made from.

I will be surprised to see a different plug make more power than the manufacturer or engine-builder suggests.

We sometimes go for different plugs because the engine has been modified in such a way, that it can benefit or be protected through a different design.

If you want a better spark:

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What worry’s me, is that some people have something done and then when the job goes out I tell them “But your car must still have the following done” and they reply “so all is Ok”.


It started of by getting a Nissan v6 for a Unichip where the firing order & some Spark plugs where wrong & in the end it was capped by a faulty Throttle position Sensor.

Then a 1600 Golf that was converted to 2L in Cape Town came in for a re-tune after that specialist could not tune it right. Faulty fuel pump was my diagnosis.

Then we got a KB 320 that did not get enough Voltage at the ECU (now try sussing that out).

Followed by a B2600 that had the cam a tooth out & the distributor did not give me mechanical advance.

Finally a person came in with a KB 320 and I decided to let him drive around with a bridge-plug fitted, assuming the Unichip had cooked off atop the intake.  If you have a Unichip installed inside the Engine compartment, I would suggest getting it relocated soonest !


I enjoy fault finding, though I do not enjoy dealing with a customer that does not understand; I can only diagnose once I know what is wrong. Before that, it is detective work and during that time I can only sing the Namibian anthem “ek weet nie”. In other words, don’t phone me, I’ll phone you.

Thereafter I refer the customer somewhere else to have the problem repaired. I suppose lawyers & doctors do the same but in my trade some people are rude enough to say “and you charge me without fixing this ?”.

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Recently somebody asked me how the financial times are affecting the tuning business.


I believe that those of us who tune vehicle’s, by increasing their value are benefiting; as cars will be driven longer if the times are bad and therefore it is a Boon to have them set-up properly.

This has been proven in the past tough economic times where the society will try make things last longer & more efficiently- exactly what Nick’s Racing does J

An increase in fuel price, like we will have on Wednesday, I only regard as a short boom.


But I can definitely see that the times they-are-a-changin. I was fully booked over the last few weeks with people bring in vehicles for major jobs. But quite a few jobs were also scaled down and some necessary ones, like re-tunes, never featured. This week I am nearly empty ?

I will order my next batch of K&N’s within a day or 2, so if you need something special- let me know now, please.

I have a feeling (and I hope that I am wrong) that this might just be the final K&N order this year, as I am expecting a financial collapse toward the end of the year.


            This ties into how I evaluate my business.

I think it is good to know what one has and how to market it. Also should I want to sell or scale down one day, it is nice to know where I stand and know my market related value.

We stock a range of items that tie into each other, but can also be marketed on their own, such as K&N airfilters and Ignitors…. These are of course products that mostly generate their keep from sales.

Dynotuning as well as exhaust system fabrication & cold air intake manufacturing is a workshop activity that generates its funds from labour not necessary sales.

Of course we will still modify engines, but that does not generate my major keep as it did 15 years ago.

We still keep a certain amount of spares to efficiently complete the work in-house.


What I really enjoy doing is Research & development. May it be for OEM or aftermarket companies.

It is nice if somebody turns to you for your knowledge and then pays well for that. I would hesitate to use the word “consultant”, as that has lost its true meaning over the last few years. At least in Namibia.


Then finally there is the building that houses Nick’s Racing.

Also a separate entity if I ever had to break this operation up.


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If you do not like the bit of humour in my newsletters, or feel it distracts- please do let me know ?

The Legend of Brian Redmans Cat!


There are a lot of different versions about why people are drinking to Brian Redman's Cat. Credit for the Cat has been claimed by various groups; drivers, crew members, every race worker specialty and even some of the more alcoholic spectator groups. Everyone wants to get into the act. Don't believe any of them.



Ignore all rumors. Especially the one that says the Cat was invented by corner workers at an emergency drinking meeting of the "Road Racing Roundtable: In the parking lot of Schwartz's in St. Anna, Wisconsin".Corner workers are damned particular who they raise a glass to. Their toasts are a sign of respect bestowed only to the fastest people like Fangio, Moss, Clark, Donohue, and Brian Redman.



All properly conducted Saturday drinking contests follow a pattern. You take turns making a toast. You are expected to toast someone faster than your predecessor. Lately, the toasting seems to always end with a final toast, "Here's to Brian Redman's Cat". The Cat really isn't quicker than Brian, but he is faster than most, especially in the rain (his claws are an advantage).



Here now is the straight story: "The Cat", he didn't have a name in those days (actually, he still doesn't), was first noticed by corner workers at Road America. He lived his entire first life right there at the track.



That first life was what started the Legend. We are certain that each of his remaining lives will contribute to the legend and he will take his rightful place in racing history. When first spotted, he certainly didn't look like legend material.



He was apparently booted out of a car as a kitten and grew up wild at Road America, scrounging for his food and fighting for survival. He was a skinny pitiful sight, obviously undernourished and very anti-social.



The event was a cold May Drivers School and it was raining. That dumb Cat was standing there, soaked to his skin, watching the racecars, just like the corner workers. He was obviously impressed."The Cat" was having a really rough time when he discovered the generosity of corner workers.



At lunchtime, eating with them was better than scrounging for food. This was easy; he was well-fed at every corner he visited. He never understood the fact that maybe the amount of food available for cats had something to do with the quality of the lunches.



He really learned to love the vulcanized bratwurst with melted Hershey bar on top. He even learned to like the "mystery meat".



Eventually, he became tamer and actually permitted a few corner workers to give him an occasional pat on the head. He seemed to enjoy them and their company.Later, he started drinking with the workers at the end of the day.



He found that most corner workers had alcoholic beverages in their survival kits for after the last car. He got into the habit of making the rounds of the corners. He'd have a quick one with anybody who was willing to share.When he wasn't eating or drinking, he was watching the racecars.



He couldn' t hide his admiration for the fastest drivers because he was pretty fast himself. Just like his friends - the workers - he became an ardent fan of Brian Redman.



In fact, every time Brian Redman raced at Road America, you could find The Cat hanging around his pit. If you looked real careful, you could see he was listening to and watching Brian's every move.



As years went by, The Cat developed two burning ambitions. One was to drink with every corner worker in the country and the other was to beat Brian Redman's time at Road America. He used to work at it at night.



If you were at the right place, at the right time, you could see The Cat - who by then was known as "Brian Redman's Cat" - doing hot laps. Gradually, he worked his time down to where he was within a couple seconds of Brian Redman's best time.



He probably would have made it if it hadn't been for a tragic, unfortunate accident.One particular dark night, he had a very fast lap going. He came into Corner 10 right on the ragged edge. Unfortunately, a large deer was asleep in the apex and The Cat hit it at speed. There weren't any corner workers there to help and he did not survive the crash.



The next morning, when the corner workers came out to set up the station for the day, they found his remains. And out of respect for The Cat and Brian Redman, they buried The Cat with a good view of the turn.



Today, at Station 10, you'll find a rather large mound of rocks with a crude cross on top of it. Directly in front of the mound is a granite headstone with the following inscription, "Here Lies Briand Redman's Cat, The Bloodshot Blur with Fur".



That is the final resting place of Brian Redman's Cat. When a corner worker is assigned to Corner 10, it is tradition to add one more rock to the pile.That might have been the end of this legend, except for a strange phenomenon that was noticed shortly after the crash.



Whenever corner workers got together for serious partying, The Cat would usually show up after a sufficient number of toasts "To Brian Redman's Cat". That damned Cat would come back for one more drink with his friends, the corner workers. And so, if you are a good corner worker and have faith, especially if you drink enough (this is very important), sooner or later, you will see "Brian Redman's Cat"......Unknown Author