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Old Cars Are Getting Ahead With New Tech

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the will-send-a-tweet-when-out-of-gas dept.

Transportation 53

An anonymous reader points out an ExtremeTech article that begins: "Historic car races might seem like the last place you'd find modern auto technology. The cars are lovingly restored to their full, authentic racing glory, and care is taken not to allow modern tweaks to improve their performance. Surprisingly, though, both the pits and the cars are crammed with modern technology to help drivers improve their performance. Long-term benefits from tech at the race track isn't confined to racers, though. Researchers are hoping to use what they find by monitoring drivers' bodies and brains, along with the cars, to build better and safer cars for all of us."

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Is it that accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41113607)

Some current units use dual antennas to not only track vehicle position within one inch, but pitch and slip to within a fraction of a degree by using both GPS and the Russian GLONASS systems.

I can understand the military may have that kind of accuracy, but isn't the civilian signal "dumbed" down so that an invading army couldn't go to Garmin or TomTom and outfit their own military with battlefield tech on the cheap?

Re:Is it that accurate? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41113719)

Your information is out of date by about 20 years.

Under Bill Clinton the USA removed those restrictions from civilian GPS.

Re:Is it that accurate? (1)

Zemplar (764598) | about 2 years ago | (#41113859)

Your information is out of date by about 20 years.

Under Bill Clinton the USA removed those restrictions from civilian GPS.

Back in 2000 Clinton allow improved civilian GPS. The GPS.gov has some good info on the topic. [slashdot.org]

Re:Is it that accurate? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41113931)

Back in 2000 Clinton allow improved civilian GPS.

After the scrambling was cracked by enthusiasts IIRC.

Re:Is it that accurate? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41114327)

I don't believe it was cracked, but the errors introduced ended up causing problems for everyone (such as the FAA), which combined with Differential GPS (which allowed you to compensate for the error almost completely) made it worse than worthless.

Re:Is it that accurate? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41114357)

Yes, it was the differential GPS I was referring to.

Re:Is it that accurate? (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 2 years ago | (#41113923)

yeap - and these data loggers are awesome for helping you realize where you are messing up.. Just being able to review the last laps angle of approach and breaking/accelerating data makes for huge gains.. it's the last 1/10th of a second that's the real pain to make up.

Re:Is it that accurate? (2)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 2 years ago | (#41115417)

They both "dither" the signal via different means. The US system of introducing errors does so by varying the timing of the pulses slightly, so it's like the satellite moves around a bit. GLONASS does it by having the satellite occasionally misreport it's ID - so satellites swap places. Use the timing of the GLONASS satellites with the stability of position of the US satellites and you can correct the two systems to get one solid, rock-stable positioning system even if both are dithering.

Re:Is it that accurate? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | about 2 years ago | (#41168011)

Is there a consumer GPS unit which combines GPS and GLONASS in this way?

A buddy of mine. (0)

bigattichouse (527527) | about 2 years ago | (#41113619)

A buddy of mine is doing this with old hotrods. Yeah, totally plugging him, because he's classy enough not to plug his own business... http://rodtronix.com/ [rodtronix.com]

there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41113673)

its the driver

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 2 years ago | (#41113961)

At least in SCCA stock mean stock.. NASCAR shouldn't be allowed to call it's self stock car racing, as they have forgotten what the word stock means.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (2)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 2 years ago | (#41114283)

At least in SCCA stock mean stock.. NASCAR shouldn't be allowed to call it's self stock car racing, as they have forgotten what the word stock means.

Umm.. except the shocks, exhaust, air filter, wheels (stock size but lighter), tires (2 lines of tread), alignment, racing seat and harness. And 100 Octane if you can find it. But yeah, stock.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41114503)

All of what you mentioned, you can do at home in your driveway. Racing seat/harness is for safety.

NASCAR cars of tomorrow are all hand built and only share dimensions of the stock car. Can you hand build a car in your driveway?

Nathan

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41114865)

Can you hand build a car in your driveway?

Nathan

Drivewy? No.
Garage? Yes. http://www.locostusa.com/
I'll be starting a build with my daughter in a coupel of years when she's old enough to help.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (2)

ZosX (517789) | about 2 years ago | (#41114507)

The only thing stock on a nascar car is the fact that it has 4 wheels. They share nothing in common with their production counterparts. Even the body is a big fake fiberglass costume.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

ZosX (517789) | about 2 years ago | (#41114515)

Oh...you are responding to the ssca being stock...nm...long day

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41115599)

They share nothing in common with their production counterparts. Even the body is a big fake fiberglass costume.

NASCAR just moved from carburated engines to fuel injection, so they've finally got that in common with production cars.
/But still no speedometer.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

tazan (652775) | about 2 years ago | (#41136075)

The ironic thing is that even with the fuel injection NASCAR cars still have more in common with a mid 60's Chevrolet pickup than a modern stock car.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41114291)

You can replace the brake pads, shocks, air filter, cat-back exhaust, and a number of other things in SCCA "stock". I've even seen some people "cheat" to pre-heat their racing brake pads.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#41114293)

Stock Miata SCCA in Sebring a few years back, all the cars had the back of the left headlight cover bent down - makes a cold air intake scoop... Stock class allows any sway bar, I knew a guy that ran one so big (rigid) it was tearing off the mounting brackets when he ran on "stock" (R compound) tires. And the classic stock class trick (all piston engines) is to rebuild the engine with a max allowable overbore, blueprint, 3 angle valves, etc. etc.

Even in Stock SCCA, the serious guys bend the rules when they can.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 2 years ago | (#41116273)

Stock Miata SCCA in Sebring a few years back, all the cars had the back of the left headlight cover bent down - makes a cold air intake scoop... Stock class allows any sway bar, I knew a guy that ran one so big (rigid) it was tearing off the mounting brackets when he ran on "stock" (R compound) tires. And the classic stock class trick (all piston engines) is to rebuild the engine with a max allowable overbore, blueprint, 3 angle valves, etc. etc.

Even in Stock SCCA, the serious guys bend the rules when they can.

I agree - and that would be me.. I tore a weld 4 ft on my midget with an over sized sway bar and r-comps. luckily my miata hasn't broken anything yet.

If you want real stock, show room stock is the class to run at the nationals.. only safety equipment is allowed and not even all of it.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41114321)

You mean go fast, turn left?

NASCAR should also try getting rid of their rules that make the cars something out of the 50s.

Re:there is nothing stock about a stock car (1)

tazan (652775) | about 2 years ago | (#41136167)

Not really much point, they are already capable of going faster than humanly possible to race. The rules seem to mostly be about slowing them down. Any changes or opening of the rules will just cost teams money on R&D that could be going into their pocket. I like NASCAR but it's all about the money and having everyone drive a 1965 Chevy pickup with generic sheet metal makes everyone the most money.

I like to watch Australian racing as well. They do actually have stock cars like NASCAR had in the 60's. I think I would prefer the Australian way to the US way if I had a choice.

iPods in clunkers. (0)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 2 years ago | (#41113845)

I would have to agree with this story. All over the place, I see piece of shit cars driving around with their owners/drivers listening to their iPods using the earphones. These reckless drivers are oblivious to other drivers on the road, which is fine by them because they don't care if their peice of shit gets in an accident.

This scourge of iDrivers is a menace to society, and must be dealt with.

Re:iPods in clunkers. (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41113985)

All over the place, I see piece of shit cars driving around with their owners/drivers listening to their iPods using the earphones. These reckless drivers are oblivious to other drivers on the road, which is fine by them because they don't care if their peice of shit gets in an accident.

Agreed, it's hard to get worked up about losing an iPod.

Re:iPods in clunkers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41114039)

Sure, but it's easy for them to get hard over their iPod.

Re:iPods in clunkers. (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | about 2 years ago | (#41114313)

I blame the car makers. How dare GM not have the foresight to include aux in or bluetooth in the 1975 corvette!!

Re:iPods in clunkers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41114487)

So long as the headphones aren't jammed in their eyes, I'm not sure it's any worse than people driving around with bass so loud their shitbox is vibrating apart.

They weren't going to hear your car horn anyway, as if they'd care if they could.

This has been happening for a long time. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41114117)

I've got a Pontiac fireo 1986 GT that has a 2007 Corvette LS3 engine in it. (Yes it' eats drive shafts) Along with upgrading the ECM and swapping in a 6 speed automatic paddle shift tranny. (all paddle shift are automatics, a real transmission has a stick.) Breaks were upgraded to Brembo and I am in the process of fitting a Chevy steering assist unit. and some custom suspension parts to make it better than the corvette could dream of ever handling and I spent less than 1/2 the price of a used 2009 Z06. I have a friend that has even more tech in his 1955 Chevy pickup truck.

shade tree mechanics have been doing this stuff forever, My dad upgraded a 1950's beetle to electronic ignition when I was a kid.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 2 years ago | (#41114231)

So, the only thing "stock" is the lug nuts?

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41123087)

Nope, I use titanium lug nuts. they weight 1/2 of what the stock ones do. Every ounce removed from rotating mass is another 1/10th of a HP to the ground.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#41114335)

I think the article is focusing on guys that keep the cars original, but tack on tech - mostly driver improvement focused - that improves their times even with the engine, suspension, tires, etc. kept historically accurate.

I knew a guy that was swapping late 80s Corvette engine/suspension/digital dashes into things like '32 Hudsons, makes for an interesting end product.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

tippe (1136385) | about 2 years ago | (#41114369)

What the? Brembo? Tranny? Methinks you've come to the wrong place, my friend.

I doubt those words have ever been spoken aloud on Slashdot before, and I'm pretty sure that they are near the bottom of the list of things your typical slashdotter will think of when they think of "tech". If you'd at least said your Brembo brakes ran Linux or something, then maybe we'd be impressed. Maybe.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41114597)

not true. Most professional techies I know are also car nuts.

ps..did you know that, at least a few years ago, the ferrari website ran off of sharepoint? lol

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

foradoxium (2446368) | about 2 years ago | (#41114665)

..I totally didn't realize I wasn't logged in until after I posted the above comment.

but anyways, yeah most of the people I've worked also have some varying degree of knowledge about auto mechanics.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

zwede (1478355) | about 2 years ago | (#41115931)

I've done some tech updates to my '71 Corvette. The 4-speed manual tranny is upgraded to a modern 5-speed with overdrive. The engine has aluminum heads, full roller valve train and EFI. The ECU sits behind the passenger dash and has a RS232 connector so I can calibrate fuel and ignition timing timing from a netbook sitting in the passenger seat. And yes, I pull over before piddling with the netbook. It has data logging so I don't have to watch it while driving.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41114375)

Not all paddle shift cars are slushboxes though. Some are robotic manuals.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

zwede (1478355) | about 2 years ago | (#41115835)

Not all paddle shift cars are slushboxes though. Some are robotic manuals.

The industry can call it what they want. As far as I'm concerned: 3 pedals = manual. 2 pedals = automatic.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

cynyr (703126) | about 2 years ago | (#41118033)

But the robotic manuals don't have the slip and glide of a slush box. The VW DSG / porshe PDK is actully a very tolerable automatic as it drives just like a manual.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41120835)

Didn't VW make a car with a stick-shift but no clutch pedal? It had some sort of clutch that automatically engaged/disengaged when you moved the shifter.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

hawk (1151) | about 2 years ago | (#41122987)

The "Automatic Stickshift" of the 70s (may have started in the late 60s).

It was actually an automatic clutch. First gear was removed, and it started from 2d with the help of a torque converter. They were the regular 2, 3, and 4 gears.

hawk

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41123117)

Amen. If it does not have a clutch pedal, it's not a real transmission but a glorified slushbox.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

dow (7718) | about 2 years ago | (#41114667)

I'm glad I'm not the only car geek on here...

I'm in the UK and driving an S14a 200sx (aka a Silvia or a 240sx in the US) which I've had on axle stands for two years treating all the rot and swapping out most of the standard stuff for better parts. It's running around 300bhp now, and is a lovely car to drive although the standard ones weren't bad 17 years ago, and I guess it really isn't a terribly old car but it has none of the traction control or stability guff that modern stuff comes with.

Anyhow, this probably isn't of much interest to you being a Japanese car knowing the reputation the import tuning scene can have over there, but I know a guy who has one of those little Corvette lumps in his Silvia... supercharged and putting down around 650bhp. I still dream of a Corvette myself, but there isn't much that will touch his old Nissan that isn't seriously exotic!

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41114677)

You missed the point. They have original mechanics and modern telemetry. You have modified mechanics. And you should have gone with the 87 Fiero.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

denvergeek (1184943) | about 2 years ago | (#41114787)

Best thing I've so far in the past several years was seeing some friends drop a turbo-charged Subaru engine into a 60's-era VW Westfalia. That damn van could move.

Re:This has been happening for a long time. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41123129)

I have a friend that has a Pontiac Transport minivan that we dropped the entire drivetrain from a Grand Prix GTP into. yes it fits easily. 3800sc engine and 4T65HD tranny = make kids in hondas and WRX's cry as a minivan smokes them.

Feelin' so fly like a Wright 1 (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41114659)

They can give them modern names, too.

Anyone wanna try out my Cleveland Steamer?

FriSt psot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41115111)

marke7. Therefore despite the much as Windows NIGGER ASSOCIATION 7he project faces,

Tech usually doesn't help in cars (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41116767)

The autmotive tech that makes it to consumer cars is mostly useless. If you're driving a '70s car and you're not an inattentive soccer mom, you're not missing anything other than EFI (downside: roadside fixes become much harder) and maybe ABS. The rest of the tech is a hindrance.

And what do race cars have? Data logging and EFI. Driver aids, when present, generally stay switched off. Cars like the GTR are rich douche toys ripe to be stomped by a more serious car like a Noble M600.

Re:Tech usually doesn't help in cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41119103)

Apparently you missed all of Williams BMW's dominance before active suspensions were banned by the FIA.

Re:Tech usually doesn't help in cars (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 2 years ago | (#41119447)

I’m with you if you’re talking about touchscreen control panels that softly pop out of the dash, but you don’t consider safety features tech? What about CVTs or computer-adjusted suspensions? Variable valve timing?

Re:Tech usually doesn't help in cars (1)

hawk (1151) | about 2 years ago | (#41123029)

I have a 72 Eldorado covertable.

Once it's fixed, it will be still be missing something: double digit fuel economy :) (OK, it should actually get 14-16 on the highway, and 10-12 around town).

It would benefit significantly from an overdrive gear, lockup torque converter, and a handful of the northstar technologies (particularly, the bit about not firing on all 8. There was an attempt on a smaller version of this engine a couple of years later, but the electronics were a disaster, and most cars eventually disabled it).

Yes, I do speculate about tossing a modern turbo-400 in it, to get the lockup and extra gear, but there is s much to do beforehand.

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