Sunday, 17 July 2016

The 6 Best Kit Cars

Kit cars are sold as a set of parts which the buyer assembles (or has the manufacturer or a third-party assemble) into a functioning vehicle. They’re usually built around a “donor” engine, transmission and sometimes a chassis from a regular production vehicle. When done right, a kit car can become a curvy head-turner for the fraction of the price a genuine exotic – and with the lower running costs and reliability of mainstream contemporary engineering.
Broadly speaking, kit car designs fall into two categories: “replicas”, which emulate famous supercars (such as Lamborghinis, Ford GT40s and Shelby Cobras); and “originals”, which offer unique, self-penned body styling.
But beware: while many kit car companies are long-established international businesses with substantial full-time staffs, others are one-man backyard body-kit operations with patchy reputations.
Here are a few kits (from reputable manufacturers) worth considering.


1.Lister Bell 
Lister Bell,Kit car,Replica,Rally,Lancia Stratos
Lister Bell
 The Lancia Stratos, which dominated the World Rally Championships in the mid-1970s, is among the most gorgeously aggressive auto designs of all time. But it’s rarer than an honest politician, with a 1974 example fetching $660k in California last year. For a less-stress Stratos, try the aesthetically-convincing, British-made Lister Bell STR. The STR is available as a built car, but can only be imported into the U.S. as a kit (or as a “turn-key minus”, sans engine and transmission). At around $65,000, a ready-built STR offers better interior space and dependability than the original, while still being plenty peppy (designed for Alfa Romeo or Toyota V6 engines).


Gt40 replica,Kit car,Tornado British
Tornado(GT40 Replica)
Also British, but with a stateside sales operation, Tornado Sports Cars (TSC) has been producing stunning Ford GT40 replicas for more than 25 years (the originals were also designed and built in England). With only around 100 of the real deal ever made, and survivors fetching seven figures, the TSC GT40’s “basic component package”, which starts at around $11,000, is a seductive compromise solution. Using Ford or Rover V8 powerplants, TSC’s version is also available as a turn-key car built to exact customer specifications, with modern conveniences and safety options including air conditioning, six-point roll cage and central locking (price on application).

3. Factory Five

Factory five,Cobra,replica,kit car,shelby
Factory Five (Shelby Cobra Replica)

The Shelby Cobra is America’s most replicated car, but Massachusetts’ Factory Five is one of the most experienced Cobra kit makers (established in 1995, with full-time crew of 30) and claims that its MK4 Roadster is “the world’s best-selling replica”. Whereas real Cobras have sold for more than $5 million, with a $13k Factory Five base kit plus a 1987-2004 Ford Mustang donor car (and some wheels, tires, paint, patience and effort) you can have yourself a really convincing copy. At the time of writing, a beautifully-finished 1965 Factory Five Cobra replica, with a 302 V8 and 13,500 miles, was listed on EBay for under $33k.

Utima GTR,kit car,Custom,Sports car
Ultima GTR
Ultima Sports Ltd. is a British brand with a strong U.S. following. Its Ultima GTR supercar broke numerous speed records (including 0 – 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and lapping the Top Gear track in 1-minute 9.9-seconds) before being replaced by the Evolution earlier this year. Available as a complete car or kit (which Ultima claims requires only “basic automotive knowledge and an elementary tool kit” to build), the Evolution is a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe or convertible stunner. This retro Le Mans-y rarity ships with a Chevy V8 and Porsche transaxle, but individual kit builders can get creative with their own combinations.
2.The Car Factory
The Car Factory,Etv,Custom
The Car Factory ETV

Approaching its 30th anniversary, Florida’s The Car Factory not only makes Porsche body kits (the Boxster GT and Gemballa GT), but also the outlandish Dimensia Custom Car (starting at $85k) and the aptly-named ETV (“Extra Terrestrial Vehicle”). The sci-fi-esque ETV can be built around a number of Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda, Porsche or electric drivetrains and, belying its movie-prop looks, is fully street-legal with DOT glass and lights. The Car Factory now also builds, under license, the super-exotic, Infiniti G35-based Vaydor designed by Matt McEntegart. If you have (at least) $125,000 to spare, they can even create a unique, factory-looking concept vehicle to your personal specs.

sterling,sports car,kit car,custom
 Blurring the line between the “replicas” and “originals” categories, Pittsburgh-based Sterling Sports Cars makes assembly kit copies of a classic kit car. Sterling’s kits replicate the wonderfully futuristic two-seater Nova kit car first produced in England in the early 1970s and later under license in numerous countries and under various names – from Austria (“Ledl”) to Zimbabwe (“Tarantula”). With its dramatic lift-up roof/doors canopy, an up-and-running Sterling is truly something to behold – one of the most arresting cars on the road by any standard. Originally designed for a VW Beetle floor pan, Sterling currently offers over 45 adapter options for everything from Subaru to Porsche donors and even an electric version.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Diy Wheel Alignment

Getting car wheels aligned seems like a real pain from both time and money standpoint. This is why, most of the car owners think of wheel alignment as a rocket science and keep on paying hefty amounts of money to professional shops and work stations. However things are not as complicated as they seem.

If not a perfect alternative against going for traditional wheel alignment checks at repair stores; at least knowing how to DIY, can add a lot of value to your routine drives and help you keep a check on the quality of the work delivered by the technicians. From the concept and logical perspective, alignment is a pretty simple and straight-forward process, which can definitely be turned into an expertise with timely practice.
The part that tests your patience, the most, is that of setting up your alignment structure to get precisely consistent accuracy. Finding a perfectly flat surface to work from is also very critical. However these things get a lot easy if you plan to set it all up in your own garage or shop.
Aspects such as measuring and adjusting bump-steer, scaling and corner-weighting in order to enhance the performance of your car ma8y cost a bit more than a regular wheel alignment setup. So, if you don't mind shelling out a little more, you could as well go for a proper hi-tech setup and get more control over your car's health and performance.
Alignment of wheels not only helps improve the vehicle's performance over the streets, but also helps reduce accidental risks and enhances the lifespan of tires.
Here's a quick guide for how to do wheel alignment on a car and become an alignment-pro in no time.
Before undertaking an actual alignment in hands, it makes a lot of sense to have basic information of some key terms associated with the wheel alignment process.
Just as a pigeon-toe acts as a fulcrum and helps the pigeon get more flexibility and shock absorption features; car's wheels also rest on toes that have two main sub-components, Camber and Caster.

The vertical toe-in. If it points slightly inwards from the top to bottom, it is called 'negative' camber and if it points slightly outwards, it is considered 'positive' camber. Positive or negative camber adjustments help in fine-tuning wheel movements as per driver's expectations.
The angle on which the wheel pivots, when handled with the camber. 'Positive' caster facilitates wheels in being centered in orientation during the drives.
Adjusting camber and caster with basic tools in your garage might not be an easy thing to do. Hence, taking assistance from the repair shops is a better choice here.
However, most frequently needed alignments are to do with the toe, which can easily be managed with the basic tool-kits having jacks, open-end wrenches, measuring tape and pocket knife.
Toe Alignment Figures
Getting the right numbers in hand, in order to address the toe alignment is very important. This numeric data is easily available at some library of motor manuals or popular repair guides. Since these measurements are car-specific, there is no universally applicable combination towards getting the best result. Reaching out to an official factory workshops is also another option, if you don't mind getting extra-technical and spending a little more. Toe alignment settings are often expressed in inches, millimeters or angular minutes. Based on these figures, you can get a clear picture of what to aim at during the alignment process.
Health analysis
Before starting the alignment process, you must make sure that the front wheel components are in good condition. After jacking the front wheels over the jack stand, check the following:
- Wheel bearings are properly placed

- Ball joints are healthy enough

- Steering gear box is in place
If there is no feeling of looseness in the wheels, both vertically and horizontally, they are good to go for the actual alignment process.
Alignment Process
Once all the other prerequisites are sorted out, take the following 5 steps:
Step 1
Spin each tire and mark a line along the center of the tread with a pocketknife. If the circumference is all covered with tread block, make a support for the marking device in order to avoid the undesired jumping effect.
Step 2
Set the car on ground and push a few times on each fender to move the suspension and allow the car to rest on its springs.
Step 3
Free the steering wheel and move the car forward by 10 feet or so, letting the steering wheel go on its own.
Step 4
With the help from a friend, measure the length between the lines in the front of the tires, at points in line with the spindles. Then measure the distance between the lines on the backs of tires for the same height. The difference in the two measurements is called toe-in or toe-out. Smaller number in front indicates toe-in and larger indicates toe-out.
Step 5
Release the lock nuts on the tie-rod ends, next to both spindles and adjust it equally on each side to keep the steering wheel centered.
Finally, after you lock it all down, you may repeat this process to get double sure of the adjustments made in the car wheel