Unless you already know ignition system operation by heart, the first chapter bears reading as an intro-or refresher course-on how the entire system works. Ryden then devotes chapters to the component parts, spending two on ignition controls. Wonder just what a 6-Series box is? Here you go. And do you need to step to a 7-Series unit? Guidance is provided. The author then gets back to basics by dissecting the secondary side, those oft-overlooked coils, wires, and plugs.
Two chapters on distributors follow that are equally thorough, covering everything from old-school breaker point distributors to dialing in centrifugal advance in a performance unit. RPM and timing controls are covered, as are programmable setups and distributorless systems. Then, ever-conscious of the basics, Ryden discusses charging and wiring before finishing up with a useful "Definitions and Diagrams" section.
Suffice it to say that How to Build High-Performance Ignition Systems is a must-read for anyone looking to understand and get the most out of their performance vehicle's ignition system. For more info or to pick up a copy, call 800.551.4754 or visit cartechbooks.com. -JN
Sean HaggaiSo, I've had this thought rolling around in my head for a while now. And considering I'm in the process of building this El Camino (still nameless), I think that we have a perfect opportunity to touch on something new for the magazine and for our musclecar niche in general. As of now, it's pretty much dominated by the early rear-drive import scene. It's almost like racing, but points and status are accumulated through the amount of smoke you produce and how much angle is created with the car while sliding through the cones at a breakneck pace. If you haven't already guessed it, I'm talking about drifting. Month after month, open track drift days are occurring across the country and it's gaining in popularity. Think of dancing on asphalt but with cars.
I've grown up on both sides of the automotive scene, with most of my friends driving imports. Plus, being as young as I am, I've had some experience with people who are involved with the drifting scene. I've attended events and even helped build a street-driven drift car with a friend. I don't know, maybe I just don't want to see the import scene getting ahead of our musclecar one. I would hate to see the import market dominate ours and take it over. I feel we need to find new ways to stay in the game. Our market should be able to adapt to trends and I feel it's key to our survival. Besides, who doesn't like smoky sideways action...especially in a big-body musclecar?
If anything, it would be a lot of fun to just have some sort of excuse to burnout and let the cars loose. And, with the recent purchase of editor H's '73 project Camaro, how cool would it be to see the Elco and Camaro out there shredding some tires and busting sideways for a change? It's all about having fun with our cars. We build these things to run and run hard. Cruises are cool, but we all want to see some hardcore action. Hopefully I've got the wheels turning and maybe gotten you to think about something new for our market. It seems like a lot of fun, and it might even turn some heads. I don't know about you, but I'd feel all right driving through the driver-side window for a change.
Let me know what you guys think. (Editor's note: You're on your own on this one, buddy.)