Monday, October 24, 2011

FTS Tire Treatments

F.T.S. Fast Tire Solutions Tire Treatment
By Travis Mims
I am often asked which treatment is best for a particular track or situation, and since I am not an experienced racer and have a ton to learn on this subject, I thought I would research F.T.S. and their products and see if I could make some sense out of the mysterious alchemy of tire prepping. After reading their information on their website and working with some of their products I, and a whole lot of questions to Tom and Hunter and Jody, it actually starts to make some sense. In fact, the guys at F.T.S. have taken much of the guesswork out of choosing the proper prep. To begin with, there are only two basic choices for the initial treatments, Hard Track (HT Series) and Tacky Track (TT Series) It is up to you to decide the prevailing condition of your track, and don’t make the mistake of visualizing your favorite tracks' ideal condition. Try and give an honest opinion of the condition most likely to be encountered. I asked about the definition of Tacky and for the purpose of tire treatments, it can describe anything from damp, soft, wet, loose or sandy. Simply put, anything that is not dry and hard will be better suited with TT treatments. I think that the Hard Track is self explanatory from dirt to clay to asphalt.

Now that we have HT Series and TT Series understood and what type of surface they apply to, it is time to treat some tires. For this, let’s pretend that we have a new set of tires and they have been cut, sanded, stroked, sacrificed to and whatever else is done before they are mounted or chemically treated. Both HT and TT have an Inside Solution that is designed to be cold rolled from 18-36 hours inside the tires with 1-3 oz. of prep in each tire. The more prep that is put inside (and/or outside) the tire, the greater the effect will be from that prep. The middle of the road is 2 oz. in the LF and RS tires and 1 oz. in the LR. The LR should always be the hardest tire on the kart with the least “bite” and the LF should always be the softest with the most “bite”. “Bite” is a loose term used to describe the grip a tire will provide when a given prep is used. After the initial inside treatment, depending on circumstances, you may be finished with inside prep. Now you want to begin to treat the outside of your tires. There are four products available, HT Series1, HT Series 2, and TT Series1, and TT Series 2. Depending on which choice you made (HT or TT) you can begin to treat the outside with either 1 or 2. *REMEMBER* Series 2 is stronger and more aggressive than 1 in both HT and TT products. There is not room here to try and describe all the different techniques in use. One technique that I observed is that after the inside treatment, the tires were kept in a shaded cool environment and given a once a day wipe with either Series 1 or Series 2. That was started 7 to 10 days before race day.

I also know that some will do another cold roll inside treatment 3 - 5 days pre-race if they are not satisfied with the tires progress. I am blown away at how someone can smell and feel and squeeze and judge tire differences and can usually tell you to within a point what a durometer will read. To those that may not know, a durometer is basically a gauge that has a pointed tip that is pressed into a tire a short pre-determined distance and it gives a number reading on how easy (or how hard) it was to do so. It is useful in that it gives a person a scale to go by when comparing effectiveness of different treatments.

The softness of a tire dictates the optimum operating temperature of the tire; IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY DEFINE HOW MUCH BITE A TIRE HAS. You soften a tire to match temperature conditions. Colder conditions will usually warrant a softer tire, and conversely, hotter conditions will require a harder tire.

That is the bulk of the F.T.S. Lineup and it covers a wide range of uses. But what do you do on race day when you need some more bite from your tires? You break out the F.T.S. Slight Bite or the F.T.S. Black Bite. These two products are designed to be outside wipes and can be effective on both hard and wet tracks. They are not abrasive and both will give you more bite in your tires. Black Bite is the more aggressive of the two. The instructions say that both can be used for "firing a tire" which simply means adding extra bite initially to help bring the tire up to its operating temperature. Remember, you add pre race wipe to give the tire initial grip, or “bite” to make up for lack of bite in the track itself. Use more when the track has less bite, and less when the track has more bite. Normally, dirt tracks gain bite as they “come-in,” a term used to describe a track that is gaining grip as more and more karts lay down rubber and or the sun and heat bakes the clay. If calcium chloride is put on the track prior to the race, expect the track to be slick until the track starts to come-in. Once a calcium track comes-in, it will have considerably more bite than the same track would if calcium was not used, and it will remain more consistent until weather conditions change (night comes) or it starts to dry out and break up.

All of the above can be used on all the types and brands of racing tires on the market. There is, however, one brand of tire that warrants its own witch's brew. I am talking about the Maxxis EL of course. No matter if you love it or hate it, it is a fact of life for racers in some regions and classes and tracks. Fast Tire Solutions has approached the EL tire with 2 products; the first is EL Elite Inside, for inside cold rolling. The second is EL Elite Conditioner which can be used as both a tire roll and an outside wipe. Slight Bite and Black Bite are then used at the track to “fire off” the tire. (Check out ARC's catalog items 9860 and 9861 for a proven EL tire prep formula using F.T.S. products)

Last, but not least is Fast Tire Solutions Tire Wash. It is water based cleaner that comes with its own spray bottle and it cleans rubber as well as anything, but will not destroy the tire treatments used on the tire. Everyone knows that tire cleaning is just a part of life when racing dirt tracks and FTS Tire Wash can be used either with or without water and wiped dry. It can be used with any of Fast Tire Solutions' products.

Tire treatments for the Maxxis EL Tire

- EL Elite Inside

- EL Elite Conditioner

Tire Treatments for other kart tires.

Hard Track              Tacky Track

- HT Inside              TT Inside

- HT Series 1           TT Series 1

- HT Series 2           TT Series 2

Pre-Race Wipes and Tire Cleaner

- FTS Slight Bite
- FTS Tire Wash
- FTS Black Bite

Monday, September 26, 2011

Clone Stock Appearing Outlaw Rules

The following rules are something I wrote up last fall for tracks to use as a template for a stock appearing class for the clone engine.  Thease rules are intended to allow the average guy to build a powerful yet still durable engine in his own garage while keeping a lid on the potential costs of high priced modifications.  Stock appearing has always been my favorite class because it is not so riddled with rules and it makes enough power to keep things exciting.


From 6 feet away, the engine, unless otherwise noted, must appear like a BSP, or Harbor Freight 6.5 HP engine. Parts may be interchanged between engine types.

Internally, you can change whatever you want as long as it meets the restrictions below. The restrictions are only for safety, cost control and containing performance to provide reasonable durability expectations.

Fuel tank must be relocated and a fuel pump, pulsed from anywhere on valve cover or crankcase, may be used.

Any throttle mechanism allowed that works with the stock throttle shaft’s bell crank. Remaining stock throttle mechanism parts may be removed.

Fuel is methanol only. (or gas only***track option***) A pump-a-round or similar community fuel pool is encouraged.

A plate may be bolted to the top of the engine to mount fuel pumps and/or throttle mechanisms.

Choke may be removed from carb. If removed, choke shaft hole must be plugged.

Pull starter may be replaced with a flywheel cover and any electric starter nut may be employed.

Aftermarket air filter adapter with a max length of 1.375” is allowed. Air filter may be up to 8” long.

Any header is allowed. No muffler unless required by track. If required use RLV-4106.

Unaltered SFI certified billet flywheel mandatory with stock ignition module only.

No welding or addition of material of any kind (e.g. epoxy) to the head, side cover, block or carb.

*Stage 2 Tech: In addition to the above, remove valve cover and check:

Rockers, pushrods, valves and valve spring retainers must appear stock. Valves and retainers may be used in any combination on either side. (e.g. exhaust valve, retainer and lash cap on intake side)

Max lift taken off the top of the valve spring retainer is .280”

*Stage 3 Tech: In addition to the above, remove head and check:

Piston must be flat top or dished and may not pop up above deck.

Max cylinder bore is .035” over stock bore. Stock bore is 2.685"

Valve head diameters must be between .940” and .990” and must appear stock

Max Stroke is 2.133” taken from top of piston

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NEW ARC Dual Bearing Billet Sidecover for GX200 and Clone

The long-anticipated 6057 Billet Aluminum Sidecover is now available at $139.98 MSRP.  Not only does this sidecover look great, but it adds structural integrity to the block, increasing engine durability.

Features include:
  • Side-by-side dual ball bearings for the crank main journal, adds an additional fulcrum point to reduce crankshaft flex.
  • Perimeter O-ring, seals to block
  • 4 dowel-pin holes with solid dowell pins that pick up the additional dowel-pin holes in the block, greatly increases mating shear strength
  • Ball bearing support for the camshaft main, increases strength and minimizes potential for wear
  • Oil drain hole with removable 1/4"NPT plug.
  • 2 Venting/pulse holes at the very top with 1/8"NPT plugs.
  • 2 Oil fill ports with billet aluminum hand-tightened plugs
  • Threaded holes over side dowel-pins so small bolts (included) can be used to push the sidecover for easy removal.
  • Includes bolts and crank seal.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The New 6934 ARC Air Filter Adapter for GX200, GX160, and Clone engines.

Here is the new air filter adapter I have been giving y'all sneak peeks of on ARC's facebook.  It is for the clone and GX200 type engines.

This thing is has been in development for a long time and has gone through so many different prototypes that I've lost count.
*Meets the rule specs for AKRA/WKA Box Stock and BP
*Out-flows anything else available on the market today by a substantial margin.
*Attaches to the carb using custom made, counter sunk socket nuts (don't lose them, they are expensive). This design allows us to hide the studs and nuts from the incoming air flow, reducing turbulence.

*100% CNC milled never sees a turning machine because the contours both inside and outside cannot be made on a turning machine.

*The flange for the air filter is a slightly smaller diameter allowing a "street elbow" to be easily attached for Road Racing.

They will be available on our website later today. We only have a limited number of socket nuts until Tuesday 3/29, but then we will be loaded to the hilt.

Special note:  The thick, rubber coated metal gasket that goes between the carb and the adapter is mandetory.  Most of the more recent Harbor Freight engines have a paper gasket instead.  You will need to buy one in this case and they can be found here

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Few Changes for 2011

For the most part, our GX200 and Clone engine kits and parts kits will no longer include exhaust components.  Since different places and classes have different header/muffler requirements, we decided to remove these items from the kits effected by this.  When this is the case, we have added our recommended exhaust components as seperate "Related Items" at the bottom of each kit's main description page.  We did this to help you buy what fits YOUR specific and individual needs.

We are working every day to add more and more of the parts we carry to our website.  Additionally, we are working to make the site more organized and to provide complete descriptions to items.

We recently introduced some new items.  We now manufacture a hardened chromolly billet crankshaft for the model 28 Briggs & Stratton Lawnmower engine.  We also just introduced 5-3/4" diameter(aka 3hp diameter) SFI certified billet flywheels for the Honda GX160, GX200, GX340, and GX390 engines, and their clone counterparts in both finned, and non-finned designs.  All of these models incorporate ARC's adjustable ignition timing hub and utilize the stock coil via a coil bracket (sold seperately).  These flywheels are bolt-on items, requiring no block modifications, and their light weight and small diameter make them the top performers on these engines when the stock ignition system is utilized.

We also have one more new part for the GX200 clone engine that will be introduced shortly.  It is something we have had on the back burner, waiting for the right opportunity for release.