Book Recommendations

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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SpeedMan
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Book Recommendations

Post by SpeedMan » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:38 pm

Hi there, I wonder if anybody has any good recommendations on good books and readings?

I am most interested in "engine stuff" like probably most here are, but anything "Automotive" related is nice.
And if you recommend a book, maybe say why you like it in someway, easy to read/understand etc.
:)

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by JoePorting » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:44 pm

If you go to summitracing.com and type in "engine books" you'll see a large selection of books to chose from and they're only $17 each.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by SpeedMan » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:36 pm

Yes, I know where to buy books, but not who to buy. If there is any Recommendations?

I have some books, I really like David Vizards books, because they are a bit easy to read, even though I must read everything 10 times and still forget it..
But many books are just somewhat generalizing and some are more or less useless.

Like I read a book about Camshafts (Speedpro book), and I felt like the one who wrote it either did not really know about valvetrain or atleast not enough to write a book about it. Or maybe he did not manage to explain what he actually meant. He may be very knowledgable, but it did not seem like that to me, it was very basic too.

And also it is not always you find all books by just searching for engine books. Or summit does not have all. Like Reher&Morrisons book, Jerry Bickels chassis book.

So thats why I want to know what to look for or else I might miss something good, and it also is nice for anyone else that likes to read about stuff.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by machinedave » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:06 pm

If you are interested in engine machining and building I would recommend reading 'Sunnen's complete cylinder head and engine rebuilding handbook'.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by oldjohnno » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:11 pm

Gordon Blair's "Design and Simulation of Four Stroke Engines" is a good introduction to finite pressure wave behaviour and unsteady gas flow. It's a hefty book, more of an engineering based work than a racers cookbook and can be heavy going at times but if you want to learn about pressure wave tuning it's a good start.

Phil Irving's "Tuning for Speed" is an old one that has stood up surprisingly well over time. It's obvious that despite having a good understanding of the engineering principles he was equally at home with the lathe as he was with a sliderule. Don't be put off by the age of this one; there's still a lot of good, practical information within.

Kevin Cameron is one of those rare people who not only has a deep understanding of technical matters but is also a brilliant writer who can pass on his knowledge and experience in a very clear way. His "Classic Motorcycle Racing Engines" is my favourite, where he studies in depth quite a long list of engines that were or are important in one way or another. If you're a car guy don't be put off by the fact that this is based in the bike world; the principles are the same. Apart from technical insights the book is sprinkled with little gems pertaining to the practicalities of getting a new engine into a competitive state within a useful timeframe eg. "there's little to be gained from carving an alternate universe from billet". Also check out his "Top Dead Center" books; collections of magazine articles about technical subjects, tuners and racers.

David Vizard is another one who not only clearly knows his stuff; he knows how to write as well. I've enjoyed everything I've read of Davids, though I often wish he had gone a little deeper in his coverage of some subjects. I often get the feeling that the books are deliberately kept a little on the light side in order to appeal to the ordinary racer. Still, they're good books and very well written, something that can't be said for many of the other soft-cover hot-rodders books.

Carrol Smith is another author with a successful racing background and a string of very highly regarded books. His "to Win" series - Engineer to Win, Tune to Win, Prepare to Win etc. etc. are classics and deservedly so. Very well written as well and not to be missed.

If you are after something entertaining rather than technical you can't beat Smokey Yunicks autobiographical "Best Damn Garage in Town". Full of fantastic stories, many of which are about racing (and partying) in the early days of Nascar. There's a little bit of tech. stuff as well but sometimes it's hard to tell when Smokey was serious and when he was just taking the piss. Hugely entertaining.

There are many others but that'll do for now...
Perfectionism is the enemy of actually getting shit done.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by David Vizard » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:31 pm

Oldjohn said:-

If you are after something entertaining rather than technical you can't beat Smokey Yunicks autobiographical "Best Damn Garage in Town". Full of fantastic stories, many of which are about racing (and partying) in the early days of Nascar. There's a little bit of tech. stuff as well but sometimes it's hard to tell when Smokey was serious and when he was just taking the piss. Hugely entertaining.

Could not agree more. It' must be the only 'X' rated engine book on the planet. You start reading this you had better have at least 3 whole days ahead with nothibg pressing to do because it's hard to put down

And I love the fact that Smokey could write a book that the editors dare not touch for fear of loosing some of its personality. A must read for every Smokey fan

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by bigjoe1 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:39 pm

I am NOT a Smokey fan, that is for sure


JOE SHERMAN RACING

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by oldjohnno » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:59 pm

bigjoe1 wrote:I am NOT a Smokey fan, that is for sure


JOE SHERMAN RACING
Yeah, I'm a bit baffled by the reverence he attracts from a lot of people too. I think that whatever success he enjoyed was more a result of plain old unrelenting hard work than any particular genius with engines.

He was a damn good storyteller though.
Perfectionism is the enemy of actually getting shit done.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by GARY C » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:14 pm

David Vizard is another one who not only clearly knows his stuff; he knows how to write as well. I've enjoyed everything I've read of Davids, though I often wish he had gone a little deeper in his coverage of some subjects. I often get the feeling that the books are deliberately kept a little on the light side in order to appeal to the ordinary racer. Still, they're good books and very well written, something that can't be said for many of the other soft-cover hot-rodders books.
X 2... I am a visual learner so DV's illustrations and math examples made it easy for me to go from someone that knew nothing about engines to being able to build a competitive drag race engine. I always liked the fact that he was actually building and testing what he was writing about and it covers everything from a strong efficient rebuild to a competitive race engine.
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THE ABOVE POST IN NO WAY REFLECTS THE VIEWS OF SPEED TALK OR IT'S MEMBER AND SHOULD BE VIEWED AS ENTERTAINMENT ONLY...Thanks, The Management!

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by MadBill » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:43 pm

Part of the appeal of David's books are the well-crafted charts and illustrations. Google most any engine technical topic, click on 'images' and his work is instantly recognizable.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by terrafirma » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 pm

"All Corvettes Are Red" That book literally changed my life and sent me down the career path, however jagged it may have been, that I'm on.
"Beast" The story of Illmor-Penske's 1994 Indy 500 winning pushrod engine
"The Unfair Advantage" Mark Donahue's autobiography
"Senna Vs Prost" Fascinating story of the dominate McLaren F1 team.
Anything by Mr Vizard or Professor Blair

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by SpeedMan » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:55 pm

oldjohnno wrote:Yeah, I'm a bit baffled by the reverence he attracts from a lot of people too. I think that whatever success he enjoyed was more a result of plain old unrelenting hard work than any particular genius with engines.
He was a damn good storyteller though.
I can not say much about Smokey, but in every part of life and sports, it is not always the best who gets the most attention.
The quiet and focused who nobody hears or see compared to the loudest and most entertaining. We all prefer to be entertained usually, and they are a better face for sponsors since they attract attention and so on.. I think often those quiet ones never get the chance they should have, especially in sports and such, since they disappear in comparison.

And Thanks! This was exactly what I meant, anykind of book actually. ANYTHING.
From: The Cars of Trans-Am Racing who I enjoy reading about
To:
BEAST by Jade Gurss who is a book about the pushrod ILMOR-PENSKE engine made for INDY500, who is not about engine specific, but an book about how that engine came together and an nice real tale of an real achievement.
To:
Books about camshafts, machining, carburettors and motorcycles, airplane engines or whatever!
Anything that you couid learn from or just entertaining.

You could maybe read an book about motorcycle engines, maybe not directly car related, but maybe you learn that one thing that may make your eyes open to something you never thought of. Because it was not such an issue in the car world. And vice versa. I am not good at explaining but you guys probably understand.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by David Vizard » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:31 am

oldjohnno wrote:
bigjoe1 wrote:I am NOT a Smokey fan, that is for sure


JOE SHERMAN RACING
Yeah, I'm a bit baffled by the reverence he attracts from a lot of people too. I think that whatever success he enjoyed was more a result of plain old unrelenting hard work than any particular genius with engines.

He was a damn good storyteller though.
I think I felt somewhat similar about Smokey until I got to know him better toward his later life. One thing that struck me was that there was a whole layer below what the public picture of him was. After he passed I regretted not taking the opportunities open to me to spend more time with him.

I made the mistake of initially underrating him. Don't do that now.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by pcnsd » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:49 am

http://www.profblairandassociates.com/RET_Articles.html

Not a book, but it is free and well worth the reading.
- Paul

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by Schurkey » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:49 pm

Number one, first and foremost: Carrol Smith's "Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners, and Plumbing". There's no point to learning how to take stuff apart and put it together if you don't have a good concept of how the fasteners work. As has been said, Carrol Smith is both expert, and a blessed writer. Humor, science, practical experience...he's good at it all. There seem to be more than one cover design and several price points, but as far as I know, the actual content is the same in all versions of this book. I tried buying the "Revised edition" and my order was cancelled--I don't think it was ever released.

https://www.amazon.com/Fasteners-Plumbi ... g+handbook

There are other fastener/hardware books--Forbes Aird, and Mavrigian each have one, John Deere has one; there may be others. The Carrol Smith book is my favorite, and by a fair margin.

The Rehr-Morrison Engine book would be an excellent high-school or maybe trade-school textbook. Too basic for me. I was disappointed in it--but still recommend it for others. I thought I bought it through SpeedTalk, but I don't see it listed in the SpeedTalk web store. Maybe I got it somewhere else.

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