Newsletter No 60


14 February 2009

Welcome to all of you; new & old members of this Newsletter.


To reiterate, I send this out to all interested parties to inform them on what is new at Nick’s Racing, such as products services etc.

To let you know the latest developments and to share information. This is usually every 6 weeks or so.


You are welcome to send in information and questions, these will be answered individually.

Unless you don’t want it published I will then publish this info in the newsletter with my take on the subject.

Of course you shall remain anonymous J

I don’t believe in blogs, as most of them give an unqualified opinion by “enthusiasts”.

I can give you my take. Of course this can/will differ from those of other professionals. But then everybody advises on what works for them.

Recently I got the following eMail:




All I can say is that the car does perform very well. Ok, that I know from my previous 2.7’s. The fuel consumption is around 6.5 to 7.0 km/litre, which I feel is also good. What I want is more torque, especially if one are climbing a rock hill, low gears with low revs, in sand this 2.7 rockets. If we can get a few more kw out of old monster, well, I will not complain.


My reply was:


The 2.7 is no slouch, but it should not let you down in ugly terrain.

Since you have no Exhaust done, I doubt that somebody fiddled with the cam or head.


The low consumption on the Bullnose is either that you keep to speeds below 120 kph or that it has a Chip fitted.

To see whether it has a Unichip fitted, drop the glovebox and see if there is one there (pictures are on my Website).


At what RPM are you suffering ?

Low RPM is a difficult description as that might be 500 Rpm for one and 2500 for somebody else


On the 2.7 we can offer you the following:

K&N      for improved breathing throughout the RPM range, but most noticeable on higher RPM

Tuned exhaust system mainly for an improvement in Low end grunt & midrange

Cam for midrange to top-end

Head porting for an overall improvement

The Unichip is only an aid to tune your vehicle correctly. An aid that works extremely well J

If you do all, you will get an increase in performance of 25 to 28 % with a 18 % increase in torque.


Miskien moet jy so ‘n bietjie rond snuffel op my webblad J


I try to reply to any mail I receive on the same day.

Some mails take longer to research, but if you do not receive a reply within 24 hours (Mon to Thur), please contact me again.

Maybe your question has an answer on my Website, you never know until you check.

Of course this pays off:


Hi Nick,

Thnxs for the ifo,thats

What makes Nick`Racing the best.



Over New Year & earlier on this year I was frequently asked “what about the other tuners”.

The word tune comes from the word tone, which is how something sounds.        Some definitions:

Basically all is correct and working together properly, harmony; agreement; concord.

To bring into harmony or agreement
To bring (an engine, etc.) to the proper condition or performance, as by replacing parts, making adjustments, etc.

Process in which one or more parameters of a device or model are adjusted upwards or downwards to achieve an improved or specified result.

To adjust (an engine, for example) for maximum usability or performance


For an ordinary internal-combustion engine to run, it needs 3 things:

Compressed Air



If one of these is absent or not in the right quantity or at the right time or mixed in an incorrect quantity or with something we don’t want- you will not get a proper power stroke.


One cannot tune an engine that has a problem. Or “tune out” a problem.

Tuning should not be confused with modifying an engine.


You get the companies that do the development & sell it in kit form, such as Brospeed did to Toyota in the 80’s.

If I would sell my development in kit form I would have to build in a healthy margin for error/vehicle differences.

We usually do  the development on a specific vehicle and then apply this to all future vehicles of this type.

Of course this means that every vehicle leaving this workshop is set up individually.


Even the factories make mistakes, such as the YZ 490 that blubbered like a mother at her daughters wedding because it ran so rich.

Jetted leaner it detonated making your fillings fall out.

It needed us professionals to get it right with some delicate head surgery.

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We have developed a torquey exhaust system for the Isuzu KB 360 that makes about 7kW more.

Noise level is also acceptable considering how little space there is for an exhaust.

Including headers for N$ 1850  it retails for R 6250 fitted.


A year back I made a comment about camshafts, but since I get a lot of call on that let me elaborate further.


A Vernier pulley is used to degree a cam spot on or to rock the power curve around.

Can I set 1 up? Of course yes, but it will cost a lot of power runs to see where I get the best performance.

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 or

2) Improve on the design, but the way I did it costs a lot more money than the simple set-up we 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



I had a Nissan v6 brought in that we had done a complete conversion on, including balancing, a few years back. Now it ran rotten.

We did the usual checks (costing between 750 to 2000 N$) until we found that the cams we had installed were not set up correctly. Once this was done & the Unichip retuned, the customer really smiled.


On another note a customer had his Hilux 4Y done by us & then again by another workshop.

It was brought to us a while later with the complaint that it made no torque.

Again the cam was found to be out, but due to time restraints I referred him back to the other workshop. All they could comment on, is that I was talking through the top of my head. I rest my case !


The cam itself is critical to your cars performance ! Wrong cam or wrongly installed it will make your car run bad, if at all.


A sampling of the Multitools (Gerber) & edges we carry


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Sadly we had to increase a lot of prices and the way things are looking in the future I guess this will not be a singular occurrence.

I can control my labour prices, but not those of my suppliers L

I hope I am wrong, but I have a feeling that within the next year the word “Deflation” will be on everybody’s lips.

More on this next time.



I want to close off by mentioning personal thoughts on tyres.

Overseas it was common to have the Tech-guys from the different tyre companies come to the racetrack and offer good advice.

I was running an open-wheeler at some time & decided I was cleverer than those guys.

So I fitted wide “special” tyres and then realised with horror that my car was understeering, sending me into the wall.

In those days a driver was expected to sacrifice his front end, as that was cheaper to rebuild than an engine or Hewland gearbox with Weissmann diff. Any case broken legs normally heal quite quickly.

Same goes in Sand, not always do wider/bald tyres get you through better than smaller tyres with an aggressive tread pattern.


Lastly I want to mention that I am famous J