Holden's ‘plastic-power’ V8 mills aren’t the beefiest things out of the box, but with some trick kit they can still move. Bumping up the cubes can help with that, and SCAT’s 4340 standard-weight crankshafts are a great starting point. The cranks are forged before being ground, micro-polished, heat-treated and ion-nitrided – all fancy ways of saying they’re made from the good stuff. They can be had in 355ci or 388ci capacity (when used with a 4.030in bore), and are available through Rocket Industries on (02) 8825 1900 or rocketindustries.com.au.
Wireless EZ-TCU Transmission Controller kit
We’ve all heard of Bluetooth tailshafts before (SEMA, anyone?), but what about actually being able to control your car’s driveline from your smartphone? Well, the wizards at TCI have now developed the Wireless EZ-TCU Transmission Controller kit for GM four-speed autos, and the kicker is it can all be done through an app on your phone. The kit can be used on GM 4L60E, 4L65E, 4L70E, 4L80E and 4L85E transmissions; simply connect to the controller via Bluetooth and you can control shift points, firmness and aggressiveness, as well as log all the data. They’re available now on (07) 3808 1986 or at performancewholesale.com.au.
Ryobi cordless soldering iron
A cordless soldering iron is already one of those ‘where have you been my whole life?’ tools, but Ryobi’s new soldering station does more than just ditch a power cord. The kit comes with four different tips: point, chisel, drawing tip and cutting knife. The kit also comes with a cleaning sponge, and the best bit is that the iron has an adjustable heat dial – ranging from 200°C to 480°C. With a typical 18V ONE+ 5Ah battery you’ll get around 200 minutes’ run time – more than enough for any fiddly jobs. You can find out more at ryobi.com.au.
Cooler piping is one of those jobs that requires a fair bit of trial and error, so it’s best to have an arsenal of piping at your disposal. Mishimoto’s line of universal piping ranges from 1.5in to 4in diameters, which is plenty for most builds, and can also be had in a variety of bends and shapes including straight, 90°, 180° and U-J bend in both aluminium and steel. Mishimoto also offers silicone joiners and clamps to complete the package, which can be found at mishimoto.com.au.
Tremaniac DOD-delete valley plate
Tremaniac Racing Engines offers a huge range of neat dress-up gear for the beloved LS engine family, including this neat DOD-delete valley plate. Made from CNC billet aluminium, it features a ballnose finish as well as blanks for those pesky DOD ports, and still uses the OEM oil pressure point. And being a CNC product, it’s far stronger than the OEM equivalent. You can find this and a whole bunch more goodies at tremaniacracingengines.com.au.
CTEK battery charger
Keeping the battery charged in a car that doesn’t get driven often can be a bit of a drag, especially during these colder months. A great way to solve this is with a solid battery charger, and the CTEK MXS 5.0 will look after your battery better than a patient in ICU. It has an eight-step charging program, which includes testing your battery to see if it can be charged and how well it holds charge, removing any old sulphate, topping it off safely and adapting to hot and cold weather conditions so the battery is always kept healthy. You can find out more at ctek.com.
Steering pump mounting bracket
Keeping factory power steering pumps happy at high rpm can be a challenge, especially if you’re attempting to destroy tyres on the pad. A common fix is a conversion to an external pump nicked from your grandma’s Astra, and the boys at Lowe Fabrications offer the perfect mounting solution. Their Astra power-steering pump mounting bracket is a universal fit, and can be had in either a plain metal finish or in sleek black powdercoating. You can find more info at lowefabrications.com.au.