How Lightweight Pulleys Increase HP & Save Increase MPG!

January 21, 2014

STILLEN has been developing high performance products since the early 80′s. After a few years of frustrations with outside vendors and outside machine shops STILLEN decided to invest in an in-house CNC machine shop and has never looked back. With in-house CNC lathes and CNC mills STILLEN is able to control every aspect of their products. From the material selections and quality, to the machining accuracy and consistency all the way down to the plating and finishing processes STILLEN controls each detail so we can be 100% confident in the quality of our product from start to finish. For many years STILLEN carried other manufacturers pulleys and were able to learn what to do and most importantly, what not to do. The line of STILLEN lightweight pulleys and complete pulley sets is the combination of decades of that experience combined with STILLEN’s expertise in CNC machining.

Stillen lightweight pulley

What Is A Lightweight Pulley or Underdrive Pulley?

The simplest answer to this is that they are exactly what their name implies. From the factory your vehicle comes with a cast-iron pulley or steel crank pulley. There is nothing wrong with this other than the fact that it is not optimized for vehicle performance. Anything that spins takes power to spin it. This means that a heavy cast iron or steel pulley is going to take more power to spin than a lighter weight pulley constructed out of billet aluminum and machined to reduce as much rotating mass as possible.

Underdrive pulleys are designed to slow down the rotation of the surrounding accessory pulleys such as alternator, air conditioning etc. By slowing down the rotation of these pulleys it further reduces the amount of work the engine is having to perform. The less accessory work you make the engine do the more power can be transferred to the rest of the drivetrain, thus ultimately reaching the tires. We like to say that lightweight or underdrive pulleys do not actually “make” horsepower. They recover power that was lost due to the excess power the engine had to put out simply to rotate those pulleys.

Why Are They Important?

Lightweight and/or underdrive pulleys are a great way to make your engine run more efficiently and with less resistance. Whether developing a performance vehicle for the street or for the track one of the most important things to keep in mind is efficiency. How can you make the vehicle run as efficiently as possible? One of the best ways to improve the performance of a vehicle is to reduce the weight of any rotating mass. Whether you’re reducing the weight of wheels and tires, rotors, flywheels, or crank pulleys you are effectively transferring more of that regained power to the tires and therefore to the road.

Aside from the increase in rear wheel horsepower we’ve had, customers tell us they’ve noticed that the engine revs quicker, feels like it’s been freed up and is less restrained. Some customers also report an increase in fuel economy as the engine is running more efficiently and does not have as much weight to spin.

Stillen lightweight aluminum pulley set

How Are STILLEN Pulleys Different?

As we mentioned earlier, before embarking on the STILLEN line of high performance pulleys the engineers at STILLEN sat down and discussed all of the things we’ve learned from our decades of experience and what we wanted our pulleys to be. We have seen where other manufacturers pulleys were improperly machined and/or improperly balanced or the factory timing marks were not machined correctly in relation to the crankshaft keyway. All of these things and more are huge factors in the performance of a crank pulley and need to be taken into consideration when developing the crank pulleys and associated accessory pulleys.

Stillen lightweight aluminum machined pulleyTo start with all STILLEN pulleys are designed in our 3D CAD software. Once the initial design is completed the parts are rendered in our FEA (finite element analysis) software. This software will simulate loading the parts with forces higher than what they will see in real world situations. By doing this we are able to see the weak points of the design and at what forces the part will fail. Once we know that our design exceeds the real world forces this part will see it will be approved for production.

Some pulleys, primarily crank pulleys, also need to be finished with precise timing marks that need to be correctly machined in relation to the crank keyway. It is extremely important to do this process accurately as this will make the car run improperly if these timing marks are not accurately machined.

Finally, the crank pulleys are finished with a 304 stainless steel sleeve used for main seal contact points just like the factory pulleys.

Stillen lightweight aluminum pulleys inventoryTo speak with an expert and find out more about our full line of STILLEN lightweight aluminum pulleys, give us a call at (866) 250-5542. You can also visit STILLEN and check out the entire range of performance pulleys we offer. To schedule anything from a routine maintenance to a full-scale build, visit the Orange County, CA Performance Shop site and make your appointment.

Up to 80% lighter weight than stock steel and up to 10% lighter than other aftermarket pulleys, we’ve seen power gains of up to 10+ HP at the wheels.

Both underdrive and stock diameter applications available for most popular Nissan / Infiniti vehicles. – See more at: http://www.stillen.com/product/pulleys/stillen-standard-performance-lightweight-crank-pulley-400340-8117.html#sthash.4xvNEuhb.dpuf

STILLEN & WeatherTech Floor Mats – Proud partners in U.S.A. made products!

January 20, 2014

At STILLEN, one of the things we are most proud to say is that all of STILLEN’s products are made right here in the USA, manufactured at our locations in California, and proud to bring jobs to Southern California.  We are also proud to align ourselves whenever possible with companies that hold these same values, and build quality USA-made products.  You may have seen an inspiring commercial during the “Big Game” this past weekend, from the folks at Weathertech, who make some of the finest floor liners and cargo liners in the world.

Stillen Weathertech liner

STILLEN is excited to partner with Weathertech to bring you these great products, and welcome the opportunity to talk to you about them, and the wide array of products STILLEN manufactures.  If you haven’t seen the commercial, take a look here!

WeatherTech® all weather floor mats might be the most advanced floor mats you can buy on the market today. WeatherTech will perform 3D modeling of a vehicles floor area to assist in developing a floor mat that will fit perfectly in that space.

WeatherTech uses the latest CAD and CAM software in the development process. The latest CNC machinery is used in the production process. Couple that with their talented staff, WeatherTech makes the best all weather floor mats in the industry.

WeatherTech Floor Mat Features:

  • Designed for your Vehicle
  • Traps Debris
  • Skid Free
  • Odor Resistant
  • Non Stick Protective Coating
  • All Weather Safe

WeatherTech floor mats come in three different colors, black, tan, and grey. One or more of these colors will match up with the color of the interior of your vehicle nicely. WeatherTech floor mats will not crack in subzero weather nor will they be weakened by extreme heat. Each floor mat has a channel design that flows liquid and dirt away from the edges of the floor mat to trap the debris so it will not spill onto the carpet.

Stillen Weathertech liner ice cream fall

Cleanup is easy due to the nonstick finish. The floor mat will not bunch up beneath your feet while driving due to the sturdy nibs and nonskid surface. No mildew smell or other foul odors will be experienced as the WeatherTech all weather floor mats are produced from an odor resistant material.

Stillen Weathertech yellow liner

STILLEN also offers floor liners and cargo liners from WeatherTech. See below for a list of popular vehicles we carry WeatherTech floor mats for:

To speak with an expert and find out more about Weathertech products, give us a call at (866) 250-5542. You can also visit STILLEN and check out the entire range of we Weathertech products offer. To schedule anything from a routine maintenance to a full-scale build, visit the Orange County Performance Shop site and make your appointment.

WeatherTech® all weather floor mats might be the most advanced floor mats you can buy. WeatherTech will perform 3D modeling of a vehicles floor area to assist in developing a floor mat that will fit perfectly in that space. WeatherTech uses the latest CAD and CAM software in the development process. The latest CNC machinery is used in the production process. Couple that with their talented staff, WeatherTech makes the best all weather floor mats in the industry.

WeatherTech Floor Mat Features:

  • Designed for your Vehicle
  • Traps Debris
  • Skid Free
  • Odor Resistant
  • Non Stick Protective Coating
  • All Weather Safe

WeatherTech floor mats come in three different colors, black, tan, and grey. One or more of these colors will match up with the color of the interior of your vehicle nicely. WeatherTech floor mats will not crack in subzero weather nor will they be weakened by extreme heat. Each floor mat has a channel design that flows liquid and dirt away from the edges of the floor mat to trap the debris so it will not spill onto the carpet. Cleanup is easy due to the nonstick finish. The floor mat will not bunch up beneath your feet while driving due to the sturdy nibs and nonskid surface. No mildew smell or other foul odors will be experienced as the WeatherTech all weather floor mats are produced from an odor resistant material.

Stillen also offers floor liners and cargo liners from WeatherTech.

Choose your vehicle above to find the WeatherTech floor mat that was specifically designed to fit your vehicle, or give us a call at (866)250-5542.

Dodge Ram Exhaust Systems by MagnaFlow | 2013 2500HD/3500

January 17, 2014

MagnaFlow has released a new line of performance Dodge Ram exhaust systems, all of which are made of durable, long lasting steel, dyno tested and proven to make power and provide performance gains in horsepower and torque. Each MagnaFlow Dodge Ram exhaust is easy to install and each has the brilliantly smooth, deep tone you know as the MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust trademark of excellence.

Whether you’ve got the Dodge Ram Crew cab or the massive Ram Mega cab, whether a short or long bed you can now get an amazing rumble out of your powerful machine from a MagnaFlow Dodge Ram exhaust with a 5 or 6 inch inter-cooled tip in black, stainless or aluminized finishes, each offering a new, different and improved look over the stock exhaust system, as well as the sound, performance and durability you’re searching for in a MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust.

Dodge Ram Exhaust with 4inch Filter-Back

MagnaFlow 17044 Exhaust

  • 7 x 7 x 14inch Muffler
  • 5 inch Ceramic Black Tip
  • Single Passenger Side Rear Exit
  • 100% Stainless Steel

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 17044

100% Stainless Steel Dodge Ram Exhaust with 4inch Filter-Back

MagnaFlow 17045 Stainless Steel Exhaust

  • 6 x 6 x 6 inch Muffler
  • 5 inch Ceramic Black Coated Tips
  • Exit Dual Same Side Behind Passenger Rear Tire

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 17045

Dodge Ram Exhaust with 4inch Particulate Filter-Back, 100% Stainless Steel

MagnaFlow 17929 Exhaust

  • 5 inch Inter-Cooled Tip
  • Single Passenger Side Rear Exit

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 17929

100% Stainless Steel Dodge Ram Exhaust with 4inch Particulate Filter-Back

MagnaFlow 17930 Exhaust

  • Muffler-Delete Pipe
  • 5 inch Inter-Cooled Tip Dual
  • Exit Same Side Behind Passenger Rear Tire

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 17930

Dodge Ram Exhaust – 100% Stainless Steel with 5inch Particulate Filter-Back

MagnaFlow 17950 Exhaust

  • 6 inch Inter-Cooled Tip
  • Single Passenger Side Rear Exit

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 17950

Aluminized Steel Dodge Ram Exhaust with 4inch Particulate Filter-Back

MagnaFlow 18902 Exhaust

  • 5 inch Inter-Cooled Tip
  • Single Passenger Side Rear Exit

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 18902

Dodge Ram Exhaust with 4inch Particulate Filter-Back, Aluminized Steel

MagnaFlow 18903 Exhaust

  • Muffler-Delete Pipe
  • 5 inch Inter-Cooled Tip
  • Dual Exiting Same Side Behind Passenger Rear Tire

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 18903

Dodge Ram Exhaust with 5inch Particulate Filter-Back

MagnaFlow 18904 Exhaust

  • Featuring a 6 inch Inter-Cooled Tip
  • Single Passenger Side Rear Exit
  • Aluminized Steel

Dodge Ram Exhaust - 18904

Check out all the MagnaFlow exhaust systems for the Dodge Ram and other Dodge applications. Also, be sure to take a look at all of the other  MagnaFlow parts we carry. In addition to exhaust systems, we also carry sway bars, intake kits, lift kits, nerf bars, tonneau covers, brake kits and brake pads. To see these parts and all of the other performance parts we carry, please visit STILLEN.com or to speak with an expert, call at (866) 250-5542. We also offer a full service auto shop in Costa Mesa, CA and are happy to install your exhaust system for you!

Tow & Climb Better with Gibson Jeep Wrangler Exhaust Systems

January 16, 2014

If you’re looking for a great Jeep Wrangler exhaust system, you’ve found the place to look, and are sure to get the power, sound, look and overall performance out of any of these Gibson options, from the eclectic Metal Mulisha ceramic dual split, to the single rear exit Cat-Back. Gibson took great care when designing and building these Jeep Wrangler exhaust systems, giving consideration to the fact that Jeep enthusiasts need more power in the low and mid ranges, from idle to 3,000rpm, for better towing and climbing ability.

Jeep Wrangler Exhaust installed

The power gains come in that sweet spot low-mid range with each one of these Jeep Wrangler exhaust systems, because Gibson uses a baffled and chambered design, with no internal packing, giving a powerful, deep tone, as well as serious performance. Get the affordable, power-gaining, difference-making Gibson setup as a replacement for and upgrade to your Jeep Wrangler exhaust, and feel the difference the first time you’re near-vertical climbing a boulder, or on a long haul with your boat or toy trailer.

Which Gibson Jeep Wrangler Exhaust Do You Want?

Gibson Metal Mulisha Cat-Back Performance Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson 60-0023 Exhaust

  • 2.5-inch stainless mandrel-bent tubing
  • 5-inch black ceramic tip
  • Dual-rear exit

Metal Mulisha Jeep Wrangler exhaust

Gibson Aluminized Cat-Back Performance Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson 17303 Exhaust

  • 2.5-inch aluminized mandrel-bent tubing
  • 3.5-inch polished T304 stainless tip
  • Dual-rear exit

Aluminized Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson Stainless Cat-Back Performance Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson 617303 Exhaust

  • 2.5-inch stainless mandrel-bent tubing
  • 3.5-inch polished T304 stainless tip
  • Dual-rear exit

Stianless Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson Black Ceramic Cat-Back Performance Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson 17303-B Exhaust

  • 2.5-inch mandrel-bent tubing
  • 4-inch black ceramic tip
  • Dual-rear exit Black Ceramic Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson Aluminized Cat-Back Performance Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson 17301 Exhaust

    • 2.5-inch aluminized mandrel-bent tubing
    • 4-inch polished T304 stainless tip
    • Single-rear exit

 

Gibson Stainless Cat-Back Performance Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Gibson 617301 Exhaust

  • 2.5-inch stainless mandrel-bent tubing
  • 4-inch polished T304 stainless tip
  • Single-rear exit

Stainless Single Exit Jeep Wrangler Exhaust

Next Steps

If you’re interested in a new Gibson cat-back exhaust or other Jeep Wrangler performance parts, please give us a call today at (866) 250-5542. You can also check out all the Gibson products we have or browse the whole product line we carry here at STILLEN. You can even schedule anything from a routine maintenance or install to a full scale build on the Performance Shop site.

Air Intake Benefits – More Than Improved Engine Power

January 15, 2014

You want to go faster, have a more responsive acceleration and improve the fuel economy of your car? Some may think that this is too much to ask for, but the truth is it is possible and the answer is simple: Get a new air intake kit for your car or truck. Air intakes not only make your engine more powerful, but they also make your engine more efficient. Plus, you get the added benefit of a better sound and improved performance!

Injen short ram air intake

Short ram air intake

Why Performance Air Intakes Are Better Than Stock Air Intakes:

When designing a vehicle the factory engineers are constantly dealing with compromises. Engineers will build the best vehicle imaginable. Then another set of engineers come in and make sure that vehicle will work for 99.9% of all people. From the young, aggressive, enthusiastic teenager to the middle-aged businessman and the little old lady using the car as a mode of transport. Once the car has been toned down enough for “everyone” to enjoy the accountants come in. Their job is simply to cut costs. Is the door handle necessary? Does the car really need a windshield? We joke, obviously, but the general job is to reduce costs as much as possible. In many cases their reducing the cost of the car without actually reducing the part, working with vendors to streamline their shipping processes, making adjustments to their manufacturing plants so they run more efficiently. Now you may be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with a cold air intake?”

By the time the vehicle has gone through the various levels of engineering, there have been compromises made for various reasons. The end result is a vehicle that has been de-tuned, and softened up. In some cases this is good, in others such as vehicle performance this means the engine isn’t breathing as well as it could and the performance isn’t as optimal as it could be. This is where we come in. As automotive enthusiasts, we want to hear the air intake. We want to hear the engine breathing. We want to feel the additional power. All of this becomes the character of the vehicle. To accomplish this there are a few things we do differently.

  1. Most vehicles come with a flexible intake tubing that looks like accordion tubing. This tubing creates turbulence as the air passes through. The turbulence is created by the riffles inside of the airstream. The goal when developing a cold air intake is to achieve a laminar airflow through the intake piping.
  2. Additional benefits can come by way of a larger air filter. Factory air filters are generally referred to as “panel filters” as they are simple drop-in squares or rectangles. Most performance intakes take advantage of an oval, circular, or more three dimensionally shaped filter. This allows for a larger surface area thus allowing for better filtration, less restrictive airflow.
  3. In most cases the factory air intakes are undersized and can create a bit of restriction in the intake path. By going with a larger diameter tubing it allows for a larger volume of air to be available to the engine.
  4. Some companies such as Injen technologies will manipulate the airflow to increase the velocity of the air as it travels through the intake piping.
  5. Some companies like AEM performance intakes will include a supplemental computer which can be attached to the factory MAF sensor to alter the signal being sent to the factory ecu. AEM calls this their ETI intake system or electronically tuned intake systems.
  6. When reviewing a cold air intake, the name itself tells the story. The goal is to simply draw air from the coolest place possible. By relocating the vehicles air intake location outside of the engine bay you are getting fresher, cooler air.

STILLEN dry filter

Why It Works:

Unlike stock air intakes, the design of aftermarket air intakes promote improved air flow into your engine. This increases the amount of oxygen that can be used for combustion. In turn, having additional air in your engine allows it to be more efficient – both in terms of horsepower and fuel efficiency.

Air is just like anything else in this world. It is made up of molecules and all molecules expand and contract depending on the temperatures in the environment they’re in. As the temperature increases the air molecules grow larger. As the temperature decreases the air molecules shrink and therefore become more dense. By reducing the temperature of the air you are effectively making the air more dense and the same volume of air becomes more oxygen rich.

To get the lowest ambient air temperature possible you have to move the air intake location as far outside of the engine bay as you can. This is the reason we relocate the filters and intake pickups to the front bumpers or between the fender and chassis rails. The goal is always the same, move the intake port to the coolest area getting the most direct airflow as possible.

Types of Intakes Available:

Cold Air Intakes

There are two different types of cold air intakes. Traditionally and most obvious are the intakes that re-locate the air intake pickup to outside the engine bay. These usually require a bit more mechanical knowledge as often times you’ll need to remove body parts such as bumpers or windshield washer bottles.

The other type of cold air intake looks similar to a factory intake with a sealed air box. The primary difference is that the air box is generally larger and in most cases re-routes its air intake location to somewhere outside the engine bay. In some cases these sealed boxes can employ ram air scoops with air being directed from lower parts of the vehicle such as behind the front bumper on many full-size trucks. Many people prefer the OE looks of this style of intake. You also get a large air filter, and a larger air box which allows for a larger air reservoir for the engine to pull from. In most cases, these systems are the easiest “cold air intakes” to install.

AFE cold air intake

Sealed Cold Air Intake

Why We Like Them:

  • Offers the highest horsepower for basic applications

Short Ram Intakes

These systems are identified by their short, single tube design with an open air filter at one end. If you are looking for an upgrade in throttle response, then this is the air intake for you. Another major difference between the short ram intake and cold air intake is that the short ram intake is generally louder. In most cases this type of air intake is the easiest modification you can make to your vehicle. It’s even easier than changing the oil or headlight bulbs on most vehicles.

Why We Like Them:

  • Offers a distinctive sound and improved throttle response

Make Sure Your New Air Intake is CARB Legal:

It is important to know your states laws and regulations regarding performance parts on your vehicle. In most states as long as you don’t have any check engine lights your vehicle will be passed and you will receive your registration quickly and easily. However if you live in a state that follows the CARB regulations (California Air Resources Board) you will want to make sure that the cold air intake you are installing is legal for use and operation on the roads in your state. Currently there are only a few states that have adopted CARB regulations but more states integrate these regulations every year.

If you purchase a CARB legal intake your kit should come with a decal which you will want to place somewhere inside your engine bay. We recommend sticking it next to your vehicles factory emissions decals generally located under the hood. Another easy to locate place is on the front core support directly above the radiator.

Dry Filters vs. Oiled Filters

For years the debate has raged on, dry filters are better than oiled filters, oiled filters have better filtration capabilities than dry filters. The factor of the matter is, both types of filters work very well. These days filter technology has come so far and is so good that it really comes down to user/owner preference.

Airaid oiled filter

Oiled filters will not damage your MAF sensor. K&N engineering is recognized as being the first company to employ oiled filters in their intake designs. They have been testing their oiled filters for decades and continue to test their filters and oils against the latest technology coming out from the OE’s. Every time they test their products they find that there is no damage being done to electronic components or engine internals caused by their oils. For more information on this visit the K&N website here: www.knfilters.com/maf/massair.htm

STILLEN Gen3 Dry FilterDry filters do have the added benefit of not even being able to bring up the question about oiling issues or anything like that. As the filter is completely dry there is no way oil can get onto electrical components or into the engine. If you find yourself uneasy about the idea of using an oiled filter even after reading all of the information provided earlier, a dry filter is going to be your best option. Another side benefit is that a dry filter is typically easier to clean

STILLEN

STILLEN is the only major retailer who also makes their own cold air intakes. STILLEN has been manufacturing cold air intakes since the early 90’s and has been working with CARB to achieve exemption orders since 1995. Not only do we carry all of the major manufacturers such as Injen, Airaid, Volant, K&N, AEM we also manufacture our own intake kits that are seen as the leaders in their segments.

Warranty

A frequently asked question is, what will happen to my warranty after installing a cold air intake? Your factory warranty will not be affected by installing a non-factory intake. The dealership/manufacturer has to definitively prove that the modification made to the vehicle caused the issue your vehicle is experiencing. It is important to know your rights on this: www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance

Next Steps:

When you’re ready to take your car or truck to the next level, give us a call at 1-866-250-5542 and our experts will be happy to help you. We offer a variety of air intake systems including Injen air intakes, K&N air intake systems, AFE intakes, AEM air intakes and STILLEN air intakes. We also offer a full service auto repair shop in Costa Mesa, California.

What are some other ways you are increasing the efficiency of your engine?

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