With 2018 fast drawing to a close, we thought it would be cool to pull up the magazine’s analytics, and see what you most enjoyed reading in 2018. Without a doubt, there have been a lot of awesome articles because, let’s face it, this industry is full of amazing people and things. Below are the top 10 articles of 2018, based on a variety of performance metrics, not just straight page views – no clickbait articles here. The headings are also links to the stories, if you happened to miss one, or just want to reread the article. Enjoy the retrospective!
By and far, the biggest story we broke this year was on April Fool’s Day, when we posted a joke press release in which it was announced that California would be banning the sale and use of turbochargers. Apparently, it wasn’t unbelievable enough of a story, as readers went absolutely insane with outrage that California would do such a thing. Apparently it was a success, as the hate-mail rolled in for weeks after its publication.
In a surprising number-two on the list, this video features K-1 Kerosene being substituted for gasoline in several engines, with their run times and outputs measured and compared to those same engines when powered by gasoline. The engines were also torn down afterwards and examined with some interesting results.
When you take bored kids with too much money, and pay them to make videos, some interesting things happen. In number-three on our list, we featured a video in which the popular penetrating oil and lubricant WD-40 was substituted for engine oil in a Ford Probe engine. Surprisingly, the engine ran a lot better and longer than most would have expected. However, not surprisingly, when it finally gave up, it did so in dramatic fashion.
When Cadillac released the information on their all-new twin-turbo 4.2-liter dual-overhead cam V8, you guys and gals gobbled it up, voraciously. Between the impressive advertised power numbers – 550 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque – and the fact that it utilized the unique “Hot-V” configuration, in which the location of the intake and exhaust ports are swapped from traditional, the twin-turbo four-valve-per-cylinder Caddy engine got a lot of attention.
When noted tuner Shane Teklenburg pairs up with engine builder Mark Mazurowski, and the duo is given something as close to a blank check as most of us will ever see, to develop a triple-turbocharged four cylinder capable of making 3,000 horsepower, something akin to magic happens. This amazing project resonated with you, the reader, and is still one of the more impressive engines in our memory banks.
One of Jeff Smith’s classic “settling an internet debate” articles, this one revolves around the contentious debate between fine-wire platinum and iridium spark plugs, versus traditional copper performance spark plug. In his usual fashion, Smith involved the experts, got the straight poop from those in the know, and compiled it into a solid, informative article with little fluff, which cleared up a lot of the misconceptions about spark plugs.
An Engineering Explained classic, this article discussed the science behind – and differences between – flooded lead-acid batteries and spiral-cell, absorbed glass mat batteries. By comparing the two different battery types and their limitations – or lack thereof – readers got look inside one of the least understood components under the hood.
This article, penned by Jennifer Szabo, covers the complex subject of horsepower correction based on air density and your fuel jetting. Applying mainly to mechanically fuel-injected setups, this article is chock full of granular information on the correct method of making adjustments based on environmental conditions, along with formulas to calculate the proper amount of adjustment.
The one, the only – Project Spinal Tap. This article was the first look inside Comp Cams and EFI Univeristy’s collaboration on an 11,000-rpm-capable LS engine. The culmination of two years of brainstorming between Billy Godbold and Ben Strader resulted in an engine project with a cult following online, similar to the movie the project was named after. This max-effort project uses some impressive parts and the valvetrain was focused on in a follow up article. As of this writing the engine is still nearing its first startup.
Possibly one of the most interesting videos we came across in 2018 was this one of a Wankel Rotary engine, with one of the side plates replaced with a clear polycarbonate block. This allowed the combustion process to be seen as it happens, in the often-confusing engine design. Through the use of high-speed videography, the secrets of the Wankel engine are put on full display in high-definition.