Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

February 16, 2011

Centric Parts Shares Knowledge with Future Auto Techs

Jim Grimes, Sales Representative of Centric Parts, dropped in on the Central County Occupational Center in San Jose earlier this month to run workshops for groups of budding automotive technicians.

CCOC is a career development and technical job training facility where students come to learn a career that leads them to college or directly into the job market. Centric Parts partnered up with Snap-On and Fast Undercar to hold three training sessions for 30 students each.

Although just getting started on their quests to become automotive technicians, the students were treated to an insider's look at Centric Parts' technical and marketplace philosophies as well as brake technology in general.

"Just as Centric Parts never rests on its laurels, I pressed the value of constant continuing education throughout their future careers as automotive technicians," noted Grimes, who was invited back to host future sessions

"As an extra bonus, the center also has a training course for chefs," he added. "They cooked a breakfast and lunch for everyone. That doesn't usually happen at school."

February 10, 2011

1969 VW Volkwagen Fastback coming together with Centric Parts

Today we have guest-blogger Neil bringing us up to speed on a personal project. He's restoring a 69 Volkswagen Fastback. You can follow the project and even contribute your input at this link, but here is the story on how it all got started...

This life sure throws some fun things at you every now and then. I was 6 months into looking for a Norton, Ducatti or Guzzi restoration project and jaded from the lost auctions and things being just too damn expensive. My wife suddenly announced one night, "you know, you get all the fun stuff, I want to get an old beater Mercedes sometime, can we do that?"

Somehow I said "hell yeah, let’s do it, start searching." After checking 14 nasty Merc’s (seriously, who ever thought beige with brown interior was cool?) and a 300SL that she neglected to notice the 125k price tag on, she suddenly bounced over to me and showed me this car on Ebay ...
...NOT a Mercedes and I ADORED it. I also had NO idea what it was!!! We all have our knowledge bases and mine is pretty good with cars, but it does not extend to air-cooled VWs . Anyway, it was a good price, good description, killer feedback and reminded me of an old Aston. I was in love with it and after a small bidding war, it was all ours.

So, oh boy... better start learning. My normal style is fast – nothing is ever fast enough, stops quick enough or handles tight enough from the factory and I like to sink into the black hole of trying to fix that. However, this car is going to be a little different. As with any old car, it has been “creatively” worked on by the previous owner, but the key things are still there. It’s not had any weird Porsche or Type 1 axle conversions, still has a stock rebuilt motor and most importantly, retains the factory fuel injection. On these cars that is really cool as most owners get tired of working on it, can’t find parts, or want more power, so they move to carbs.

The front right caliper was as good as seized. A call to a good friend at StopTech was my savior here. Their parent company is Centric Parts and they have a disturbingly large back catalogue of OEM parts back to the beginning of time. A day later I had new front loaded calipers, discs and hoses and he's having the StopTech gang make some slotted discs for fun.

For me, this car is now going to be an exciting project of returning mostly to stock and staying true to the way the car was designed. I’m excited about the challenge and the Centric Parts brakes are a great first step. It now stops HARD and that’s a very reassuring thing in an old car!

Hit this link to see how it all shakes out!

February 3, 2011

StopTech GT Caliper: A Great Debut

It was a great week for the StopTech GT Racing Caliper. The underground project that was tested at 25 Hours of Thunderhill and shown to a select few at PRI.  The caliper is loaded with the company's racing innovations and optimized for endurance racing. 10 laps at Willow Springs per run is nice, but were talking 100 miles or more per race.  Things get brutal at those sustained hhigh temperatures.

Well the GT Racing Caliper is underground no more.  Centric Parts officially rolled out the product with an annoucement on their website.  The StopTech STR-40GT is in some ways a wonderful hybrid between the  original StopTech ST series calipers and the company's top-of-the-line Trophy STR racing calipers.

You get  StopTech's patented bolt-in bridge technology that provides slots to enhance cooling airflow, virtually eliminates distortion and reinforces the caliper, yet allows changing brake pads without disturbing the caliper’s mounting. The finish is natural anodized to thwart any color change at the continuous high temperatures. Interestingly enough, this caliper is the only one in the StopTech lineup that is machined from billet, which is a timely process.
So they made their official racing debut this weekend out in Florida.  Turner Motorsports equipped their BMW M3 with them for the Grand-Am 200, which was the season openner of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series.  Drivers Paul Dalla Lana, Joey Hand, and Bill Auberlen The team pulled 62 laps around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn course at a blistering 86.977 average miles per hour, which earned them a trip to the podium in third place.

Not a bad way to say hello.