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MILLICAN PILOTING SPECIAL SHARK WEEK DRAGSTER IN WESTERN SWING

 

 

McLeansboro, IL (July 19, 2017) – This weekend at the 2017 MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, Clay Millican hopes to take a bite out of his competition in his Great Clips/Shark Week themed Top Fuel Dragster.

 

The special livery on the dragster highlights one of Stringer Performance’s title sponsors, Great Clips, and their support of the hugely popular Shark Week on the Discovery Channel airing July 23 to July 30.

 

“I’m excited to be piloting such a cool car. I’m going to channel the shark thinking: the only thing on a shark’s mind is eating. All that’s on my mind is winning,” Millican said. “It amazes me how many race fans get into Shark Week. I’ll admit I watch Discovery a lot. It has some of my favorite television shows.”

 

Millican heads into Denver locked in a tights points battle. He is currently in the No. 7 position, but only 22 points behind Brittany Force. He’s hoping the Western Swing can give him momentum to move ahead.

 

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to make the top 5. I am hoping that by the time we are finished with the Western Swing we will be No. 5,” Millican said. “It is so close right now. We just have to get a jump on Brittany and Kalitta.”

 

While coverage of qualifying at the MOPAR Mile-High Nationals will be on FS1 Friday night, this week fans will be able to watch final eliminations live on FOX NetworkSunday afternoon.

 

“It’s always awesome when we are featured on FOX network. That brings in new viewers who we hope turn into NHRA fans,” Millican said.

 

MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals Race Schedule (Mountain Time)

Friday, July 21

5:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 1

8:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 2

SaturdayJuly 22

4:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 3

7:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 4

SundayJuly 23

11:00 p.m. Nitro Eliminations Begin

 

MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals TV Schedule (Eastern Time)

Friday, July 218:00 p.m. on FS1

SundayJuly 2312:30 a.m. on FS1

SundayJuly 233:00 p.m. LIVE on FOX-TV 

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

 

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969

MILLICAN RACES TO THE SEMIFINALS AFTER LAST CHANCE QUALIFYING PASS

Joliet, IL (July 9, 2017) – Clay Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to the semifinals at the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N. Qualifying for Millican was full of challenges and it came down to the wire.

 

On Friday, there were ignition problems that prevented the dragster from making a full pass down the race track. Millican was in the No.17 spot out of 17 Top Fuel dragsters. On Saturday during the third qualifying session, the car smoked the tires right off the starting line. Millican went into the fourth qualifying session not in the field. Crew Chief David Grubnic was confident he had a plan to get him qualified.

 

“Grubby tells me he had the dragster tuned to run a .78 or .80 and we would get ourselves qualified and not to worry about it. When I stand on the gas, at about 330 feet I had the biggest smile on my face! I thought: this thing ain’t running 3.80,” confessed Millican. And he was right. Millican ended up racing to an elapsed time of 3.739 at 325.22 mph and that put him in the No. 3 qualifying spot going into race day.

 

In Round One Millican raced Kyle Wurtzel. It was a close race, but Millican took home the win: 3.813/323.81 to 3.906/300.80. Round Two Millican came up against Shawn Langdon. Langdon had a slight starting line advantage but Millican captured the win: 3.888/314.61 to 3.909/309.91.

 

In the semifinals Millican came up against Antron Brown. The Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio dragster smoked the tires, while Brown had a clean pass. Brown won the round: 3.784/325.53 to 4.689/154.64.

 

“Antron put a whooping on us. The tires got loose on the car and he killed me on the tree,” Millican said. “But it was another semifinal finish for us and I’m proud of how hard my team worked this weekend.”

 

Millican leaves Joliet seventh in the Top Fuel 2017 National Championship Standings. The next race for the team is the 2017 Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, July 21 thru 23.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

 

Media Contact:

 

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969

2004-2010 Infiniti QX56 & Conversion Kit Technical Description


Introduction

With the introduction of the QX56, Japanese automaker Infiniti redefined just what the large luxury SUV could be. In stark contrast to its competitors like the Cadillac Escalade, the QX56 proved to be a versatile and surprisingly nimble vehicle that handled and behaved more like a mid-size SUV than its luxury-liner counterparts.

In the QX56, Infiniti was able to enter a rare corner of the market with a full-size—enormous, actually—SUV that provides as much joy behind the wheel as it does space for people and anything else one might want to pack in its roomy interior.

Performance and Tech

At 17 feet, 3 inches long, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a mast and sail atop this luxury behemoth. Instead, the QX56 is powered by a 5.6 liter V8 that pumps out 400 horsepower, an ample supply even for a vehicle that weighs in at 5,650 pounds.

The giant V8, based off Nissan’s popular Titan pickup platform, provides enough power to give the QX56 one of the highest towing capacities in its class at 8,900 pounds. It also contributes to perhaps the SUVs best quality—its ability to maneuver rather deftly in and out of traffic.

The QX56 employs a full-time four-wheel drive in its four-wheel drive models, which works together with a five-speed automatic transmission and an all-independent suspension, making it a very capable off-road vehicle as well.


Design

The design and flow of its vehicles has always been a selling point for Infiniti, a point that continues on with the QX56. Unlike others in its class, the QX56 features some rather aggressive, sporty styling that follows the Infiniti design philosophy of vehicles that look as sporty as they do luxurious. Soft curves and a number of featured horizontal lines make this enormous SUV look smaller than it actually is, which certainly appealed to people not ready to commit to the soccer-parent aesthetic.

The interior is where the design of this vehicle truly shines, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and productive use of space.

For starters, the second row rivals the first in terms of comfort and luxury, with a whopping 42 inches of legroom for second-row passengers. The car also features an actually spacious third row, a rarity even in larger SUVs.

The entire interior is bathed in high-grade, butter-soft leather worthy of the cockpit of a fine yacht. The wood and brushed aluminum accents throughout the vehicle provide a consistent, clean look that feels luxurious without making passengers feel perhaps a little underdressed.

The QX56 is stocked with nice, thoughtful luxury touches throughout. Some are expected—standard navigation system, a Bose 10-speaker stereo and dual-zone climate control. Others, such as the removable second-row center console, underbody skid plates and a reinforced roof rack, show Infiniti’s commitment to the “utility” part of this SUV.

Safety

As both a family and utility vehicle, the QX56 has a great deal to offer in the way of safety.

For starters, it employs vented ABS brakes that are linked to the vehicle’s traction and stability-control systems. By default, the QX56 starts off in four-wheel drive and slips into the more fuel-friendly rear-wheel drive if the weather permits and sticks in four-wheel mode in poor conditions.

The vehicle uses many such auto-detect features as added safety bonuses, such as the ring of side-impact and curtain airbags that deploy when the car reaches rollover angles, not simply upon impact. This is a feature that could potentially save many lives on and off the highway.

The QX56 also features a high-tech security system that automatically disables the vehicle if any intrusion or unwanted entry is detected.

Specific Information on Suspension System


The QX56 owes a great deal of its storied maneuverability to its advanced suspension system. Both front and rear suspensions are independent, auto-leveling air suspensions. These suspensions automatically adjust dampening on the rather impressive ground clearance of about 10 inches, give or take depending on whether the vehicle is in rear or four-wheel drive mode.

Potential Issues

In addition to its handling, the Infiniti QX56 is also notably mechanically sound. Long-term testing revealed few problems that were inherent to the vehicle and reported it to be mostly reliable even after its initial 30,000 miles.

However, as can be expected with a nearly three-ton vehicle, the auto-leveling air suspension proved to be one of the only problem areas consistent from one vehicle to the next. Whereas the compressor tended to be the culprit in the QX56’s cousin, the Nissan Armada, much of the suspension problems in this SUV can be traced to its front and rear control arms.

The suspension issues unfortunately tend to jump from a mild annoyance to an outright safety hazard rather quickly. Many owners reported steering wheel lock and extensive swaying issues, both predictable and problematic issues for a car that weighs 5,650 pounds unloaded. Given the vehicle’s size and tremendous engine power, this issue becomes very critical very quickly and cannot be left unattended.

Problems With Driving on Worn-Out Shocks

The first thing drivers will notice when driving on worn out shocks is a distinct change in the comfort of the ride of their vehicle. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, it is the first warning sign that the vehicle is starting to lose its capabilities. If this problem goes ignored it can very quickly spread to other parts of the suspension and the rest of the car.

Cars that are riding on a worn out suspension system will begin to experience the dreaded “nose dive.” This is when the car becomes unable to evenly distribute the stopping weight and as a result, the the back end of the car lifts up while the front end of the car dips down.

As one would suspect, nose-diving puts tremendous stress on the front brakes, causing a massive buildup of heat. This much heat will cause the brake pads to deteriorate rapidly, first causing a “spongy” feeling in the brake pedal. This problem will increase exponentially if left untreated, with constant excessive heat leading to a loss of function. Any increase in stopping distance can create a potentially dangerous or even fatal situation.

Cars that drive on worn-out struts will also experience abnormal tire wear and tear known as “cupping.” When a car’s struts are not working properly, even small bumps in the road will cause the wheels to lose contact with the road. This causes a “bouncing” action that significantly increases the effect the impact of small bumps and divots in the road, causing the tires to be cut and scraped. After even just a few hundred miles, the tires will likely need replacing.

Suspension systems are highly complex, interconnected systems. Once the shocks lose the ability to absorb stress from the road, other parts of the suspension are asked to pick up the slack. Bushings, stabilizer links, ball joints and CV joints are asked to take on more than their fair share once the shocks are no longer able to take the stress that they are supposed to.

As the suspension is also the primary determiner of its handling, a car driving on a worn-down suspension system will lose much of its ability to safely maneuver in and out of traffic. As this is one of the QX56’s selling points, this represents a significant loss of value and function.

But this is more than just an issue of value and comfort. A vehicle’s suspension system is one of its most important safety features. Research from independent groups has suggested that a car driving on worn out shocks requires up to 22 extra feet to stop when traveling at 70 mph. This is a difference that could potentially be fatal.

Making the Switch

Air suspension systems provide a wonderful amount of responsiveness and can truly be a dream to ride on—when they work.

Most studies have shown, however, that these air suspension systems lose most of their functionality after just 50,000 miles and start to show signs of deterioration at around 35,000 miles. This means that replacing these systems is a matter of “if” and not a matter of “when.” Replacing these systems with the manufacturer’s original system can cost thousands.


Fortunately, Strutmasters Inc. has developed a solution for this issue that is simple, robust and inexpensive. By converting a vehicle from air suspension to high-quality coil shocks, owners can replace their system for a fraction of the cost.

High-quality components means high-quality performance

Stronger Steel

Genuine Strutmasters conversion kits are made of chromoly tempered steel—the gold standard in almost every mechanical industry, celebrated for its ability to resist corrosion and its durability. Each strut is precision-ground and treated to reduce friction and cut down on wear and tear. Struts made with these high-quality materials have the ability to retain fluid and pressure longer than most of their competitors and as a result, provide a smooth ride for years to come.


Better Seals

Seals are one of the many areas in which some manufacturers look to cut production costs. These small pieces are often invisible without inspection and many people don’t give them a second thought. However, seals do the all-important job of keeping debris, dirt and other contaminants from entering the inside area of the struts. Cheaper seals break down quickly and will allow these contaminants to start pouring in, drastically increasing friction and quickly wearing down the struts themselves.

Strutmasters insists on using seals made only with the highest-quality advanced materials. As a result, these seals have the ability to block debris and hold fluids and gas charges for much longer than the competitors.


High-grade fluids

Hydraulic fluids, or grease, keep friction down inside the struts. While in use, struts and shocks get extremely hot during its compression and rebound cycles—the up-and-down movement of the strut. Over the course of 12,000 miles, the struts of a car will undergo 21 million of these cycles. Hydraulic fluids are essential to reducing the heat exchange between mechanical parts and preventing friction.

Just as is true with the seals, hydraulic grease is available at a number of different levels of quality for manufacturers to use. Also just like seals, cheaper grease breaks down much more quickly and easily, which can lead to rapid deterioration of the struts themselves.

Strutmasters, however, uses only the highest-grade lubricants available, ensuring long-lasting maximum performance.

All Charged Up

Strutmasters charges its shocks with pressurized nitrogen. This gas charge maximizes dampening capability and prevents what is known as “cavitation,” or the forming of air bubbles within the shocks.


No Bottoming Out

“Bottoming out” is the term for when the shaft of a strut plunges deep enough to hit the bottom of the valve. This bottoming out action puts excessive stress on the valve hardware and will greatly reduce the functionality and longevity of the struts.

Each Strutmasters kit uses an internal shaft spring and a bump stop made of high-quality durable rubber to prevent bottoming out.

Always in Tune


There are many factors involved in determining a car’s dampening needs. That’s why Strutmasters employs professionals to meticulously research the specific needs of each vehicle and determine the precise tuning needed. Then, advanced technology tuning equipment is used to tune the shocks on each kit to perfectly match its needs. With this precision tuning, drivers can expect a ride that is comparable or perhaps even preferable to the vehicle’s original ride.

Made with genuine Eibach springs

Few names are as celebrated in the shock and suspension industry as Eibach. The German company’s precision-manufactured springs offer enhanced cornering, improved stability and more direct handling than their competitors. Eibach springs are the preferred choice of auto racing professionals from the likes of F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, WRC, and CART.

That’s why Strutmasters uses only genuine Eibach springs in its conversion kits. If these springs hold up in the world’s most demanding driving scenarios, they’ll excel on the highway.


No “discount mounts”

With a car’s struts bearing the entire weight of the car, the hardware that mounts those struts to the car needs to be up to the task as well. Low-quality or poorly manufactured mounts can significantly reduce the functionality of the struts themselves, causing a loss handling, stopping power and longevity of the entire suspensions system.

Strutmasters uses mounts that feature a robust rubber piece that insulates the mount against the constant jostling of the strut. These mounts are built to withstand the rigors of just about any on or off-road situation, keeping both the mount and strut itself in pristine shape and providing the driver with maximum performance for years to come.

Bearing the load

Located just beneath the upper mount is a bearing plate, which serves as a steering pivot as the car’s wheels are turned. Accordingly, these bearing plates take on much of the load-bearing stress of the car when turning or cornering.

The strength of the bearings in the bearing plate are therefore critical to the proper functioning of the suspension system.

Many competitor kits use bearings made of synthetic materials such as plastic, which are poorly suited to the task. Ball bearings made from such cheap materials will become easily distorted and lose functionality very quickly.

Strutmasters instead uses robust ball-bearings made from solid steel in each one of its kits, guaranteeing a safe, smooth ride long into the future.

Better bushings for a better ride

Bushings are highly-important components that connect the strut to the rest of the suspension at the bottom of the strut assembly. Though small, these bushings essentially hold the system together at one of its most critical points, making them absolutely fundamental to a properly functioning, long-lasting suspension system.

Strutmasters employs bushings that are made with a high-quality rubber blend designed specifically the to ensure that the car stays properly aligned and that the suspension system functions properly.

Glide-Ride technology

Conversion kits need to be greater than the sum of their parts. Rather than several components functioning independently, Strutmasters engineers its kits to work together in harmony as a unit to ensure maximum performance. This “big picture” concept is known as Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride ® technology.

Glide Ride ® technology provides drivers with a low-cost replacement for their worn out struts that rivals or even exceeds the original ride quality of the vehicle.

Made in the USA for Quality Assurance

Strutmasters relies on its manufacturing partners to provide consistent, high-quality components. That’s just part of the reason why Strutmasters insists on working with American manufacturers. As a proud American company, Strutmasters understands that “Made in the USA” is about as good of a stamp of quality as one could ask for these days.

Though it may be a little more expensive, working with American manufacturers allows the company to create and nurture mutually beneficial relationships, creating smooth business transactions and ensuring simple, consistent communication and understanding throughout the process. Strutmasters’ partners are just a simple phone call away in the same country, speaking the same language with the same business customs.

Most importantly, sticking with domestic manufacturers means that Strutmasters keeps its and its customers’ dollars right here in the United States, continuing to help build a robust, bustling economy that benefits everyone.

Rigorous testing

Before any of its products hit the market, Strutmasters rigorously tests them for safety and performance. The company employs professional drivers to push each suspension kit to its limits to ensure that they are up to the rigors of the road.

Installation

Strutmasters kits also help customers save money on one of the biggest expenses—labor. These kits require absolutely no modifications to the vehicle, meaning the average competent DIYer can install them right in their driveway. Each kit is packaged with a straightforward installation guide and has corresponding training videos on the internet to help make for a smooth and painless installation.

For those without the tools or space to install it themselves, the simplicity and ease of these kits means less time in the shop, drastically reducing expensive labor costs.

Lifetime warranty

Strutmasters stands by the quality and workmanship of its products. That’s why every Strutmasters kit comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Even though a customer will likely never experience any issues with their kit if installed properly, this warranty should provide some peace of mind and a little insurance “just in case.”

Customer support

Many competitors stop service right after they’ve collected their funds, leaving customers on their own to figure out whatever issues they may have. Strutmasters understands that people are the heart and soul of every business. As such, the company employs a team of experienced professionals to answer any and all suspension-related questions and provide as much support as possible.

Strutmasters’ support team is at the ready during extended business hours to answer everything from specific information about an order to general advice about suspensions.

2003-2009 Lexus GX 470 & Conversion Kit Technical Description

 

Introduction

With the introduction of the GX 470, Lexus brought forth a vehicle that exemplified everything that has come to define the brand—tasteful styling, concierge-level luxury and consistent, reliable engineering—while it also pushed it into new territory as an extraordinarily capable four-wheel drive vehicle.

Celebrated for its smooth ride, spacious and luxurious interior and surprisingly robust off-road capabilities, the GX 470 was enjoyed enormous popularity during its run.


Performance and Tech

Produced from 2003 to 2009, the Lexus GX 470 in many ways was a traditional SUV—bulky, heavy, boxy and highly-capable.

Under the hood, a 4.7-liter V8 produced more the enough power to keep things moving, putting out between 235 and 270 horsepower depending on the model year. A five-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive system with low-range gearing was standard throughout the vehicle’s lifetime.


The GX 470 was packed with a number of features that separated it from the pack (as well as its close cousin, the Toyota Landcruiser). The SUV was consistently praised for its off-road capability, helped in part by these features, such as Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Rear Adjustable Height Control (AHC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC).


Design

Fans of old-school, traditional SUVs were probably delighted with the GX 470’s exterior. The tall, boxy body-on-frame design bears a lineage to the 4Runners and Landcruisers of yesteryear, vehicles which were certainly more utility than sports.

The GX 470 was, however, still a Lexus. That means luxury and refinement at every turn: huge, plush sheets draped in fine leather, woodgrain everywhere woodgrain should be and a high-end Mark Levinson-branded audio system.

The interior provided plenty of room for the first and second rows, reminiscent of an airplane’s first-class seats. Passengers could expect a spacious and quiet ride, with the vehicle’s ride height and solid construction all but eliminating road noise.

One major complaint with the GX 470 was a rather measly third row—perhaps big enough for children or pets but majorly cramped for anyone beyond their teenage years.

Safety

Designed to be a family vehicle, the GX 470 went heavy on the safety features. For starters, it was one of the first vehicles to feature an optional rear back-up camera system, beginning with the ’04 models and integrated into the SUV’s onboard navigation system.

Standard safety features included a roll-sensing feature that could deploy side-curtain airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

The GX 470 scored well in IIHS safety testing, earning a “good” rating in seven out of 10 categories, performing especially well in front-end testing and overall structural categories.

Specific Information on Suspension System

The GX 470 used air springs in the rear of the vehicle to complement its off-roading capabilities. In addition, the vehicle allowed for automatic self-leveling or driver-selectable height controls in the rear. The luxury SUV also featured an automatic hill holder—a feature which prevents rollback when the vehicle is stopped on an upward slope—along with a driver-enabled automatic speed limiter which assists with steep descents.

Beginning in 2004, Lexus also offered the innovative Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS). This state-of-the-art feature automatically adjusted the car’s front and rear stabilizer bars to tailor its handling to a variety of different on and off-road situations.

Potential Issues

While the GX 470 had its share of fans, the vehicle had a number of oft-cited problems.

For all its off-road capability, Lexus never really seemed to get the on-road ride just right. While the GX 470 could dutifully climb over any rock or hill in its path, passengers were acutely aware of any little dip or bump in the road—a perplexing problem for a 4,500-plus pound luxury vehicle.


Like most air suspensions, the GX 470’s air suspension functioned great when it did but served as a ticking time bomb. One of the vehicle’s most consistent problems was it’s ride-height sensors, which reportedly went out much earlier than on many of its competitors. These sensors alone cost nearly $500 each to replace and were absolutely essential to the proper functioning of the entire suspension system.

The air suspension itself was often identified as having problems much earlier than expected, likely due in part to the vehicle’s weight and perhaps overly rigid on-road suspension.

For all its innovation, the KDSS was a highly complex system on top of an automatic self-leveling suspension system that was complex enough in and of itself. As with most things, more moving parts meant more chances for things to break.

The problem of high-tech air suspension systems not lasting was not a new one or something unique to the GX 470. These problems were inherent in most mid-size to large SUVs, with suspension failure being an inevitability for anyone putting any real miles on the vehicle. In reports that are backed up by the Motorist Assurance Program, many owners of the GX 470 and other vehicles in its class reported a drop in functional ability after as few as 35,000 miles, with nearly all reporting a major degradation of function after 50,000 miles.


Problems With Driving on Worn-Out Shocks

When the shocks start to go, the first thing drivers will begin to notice is a decrease in the comfort of the ride. In a large SUV, this is especially noticeable. Small bumps in the road begin to cause more and more jostling on the interior, providing a rough ride where there used to be a smooth one.

Comfort issues often go ignored as a smooth ride might be seen as a dispensable function of a car—more a convenience than a necessity. However, these early warning signs are key. If suspension problems are left unattended, these problems can spread quickly throughout the vehicle and have an exponential effect, drastically reducing the lifetime of the vehicle.

The Nose Dive

One of the most tell-tale signs of worn out shocks is the dreaded “nose dive.” This is when the vehicle loses the ability to distribute weight evenly when stopping, resulting in the front end of the car dipping down and the rear end of the car lifting up.

Nose-diving can cause a myriad of issues with any car, let alone a two ton-plus SUV. One of the principal problems caused by nose-diving is the buildup of excessive heat in the brake mechanisms. This will first cause the brake pads to deteriorate rapidly, noticeable by a “spongy” feeling in the brake pedal. The wear on the brake pads will significantly reduce stopping power which is a major safety issue. The buildup of heat can also cause other parts of the brakes to lock up or lose functionality quickly.

Tire Cupping

Cars driving on shocks that aren’t functioning properly will experience a form of tire wear known as “cupping.” Cupping occurs when bumps or divots in the road cause the tire to lose contact with the road—a common occurrence when driving on worn-out shocks.

This jostling up and down causes excessive and uneven wear on the tires as they scrape and bump over uneven road surfaces rather than glide over them as intended. This type of wear will produce rapid deterioration of the tires and a need for a replacement well before the full extent of the manufacturer’s suggested lifetime.

Other Issues Abound


It is important to recognize that a car is built with the idea that all of its parts will function as intended. In this sense, all parts of the car are dependent upon each other to do the job that they are designed to do. Knowing this, it should be no surprise that once the shocks go, other parts of the car are asked to pick up the slack and take on more stress than they were built for.

Within the suspension system alone are bushings, CV joints, ball joints and stabilizer links that depend on the struts to do their job. After the struts have surpassed their useful lifetime, these pieces are forced to take on the role of absorbing the road stress that the struts no longer can. This will cause these pieces to deteriorate much more rapidly than if all of the car were to be functioning normally.

These issues go far beyond the comfort of the ride and cost of replacing these cars. While airbags, anti-lock brakes and other safety features tend to get the recognition, a vehicle’s suspension system is perhaps its most important safety feature.

Any loss of functionality in the suspension system means a vehicle will lose its agility and maneuverability, making avoiding potential accidents much more difficult or simply impossible. A bad suspension system will also significantly increase the risk of rollovers while taking corners.

Perhaps most alarming, however, is the reduction in stopping power. Research has shown that a car traveling at 70 mph requires at least 22 extra feet to stop versus the same model car with fully-functioning stops. This can mean the difference in having an accident and not having an accident, or between a minor fender bender and a fatal rear-end collision.

Making the Switch

High-tech suspension systems like the one employed by Lexus are marvelous as long as they are functioning normally. However, these systems have shown time and time again that they will fail, it’s just a matter of “when.”

As mentioned previously, replacing just the sensors on these systems can immediately set a car owner back a thousand dollars or more. All told, replacing just the rear suspension with the manufacturer’s original system will cost at least a couple thousand dollars, most likely a very significant percentage of the value of the vehicle at that point in its life. At this point, many owners do the math and decide they would rather cut their losses and simply get rid of the vehicle in favor of a new one.

The manufacturer’s original system, however, is not the only answer. Strutmasters Inc., the industry’s leading suspension replacement experts, have developed a simple, robust and inexpensive conversion kit for the Lexus GX 470 and others. These coil-based conversion systems can replace the rear shocks on the SUV for a small fraction of the cost one would pay at the dealership or at a shop using the manufacturer’s original air suspension.

Rather than using high-tech computers and sensors, these conversion kits leave the job of dampening the ride to hearty, high-quality mechanical parts that are easy to install and understand.

High-quality components means high-quality performance

Stronger Steel

When it comes to dependability, chromoly tempered steel is the only option one should consider. Celebrated across a number of industries for its ability to resist corrosion and extreme durability, chromoly tempered steel is the only material Strutmasters uses to make its struts. Each piece is specially treated to reduce friction and precision-ground to ensure long-lasting seamless functionality. The result is shocks that last longer and perform better than most of their competitors.


Better Seals

Seals are one area where manufacturers may look to cut costs, given that they are small and usually not immediately visible. Small as they may be, seals are essential to the proper functioning of struts. Cheaper seals will wear out quickly and transfer that wear and tear to the struts themselves.

Strutmasters uses only top-shelf seals made with the highest-quality materials available. These seals will continue to block debris, dirt and other contaminants from entering the functional areas of the strut throughout the lifetime of the strut itself. In addition, these seals will maintain the ability to hold fluids and gas charges for far longer than their competitors.

High-grade fluids

Hydraulic fluids—an essential component in the proper functioning of struts—can vary wildly in quality. As a result, manufacturers will sometimes skimp on this highly crucial element, resulting in less-than-ideal functioning.

Struts ask a lot of their hydraulic fluids. During periods of high usage, parts within a suspension system get extremely hot. Over the course of 12,000 miles of driving, the struts will experience 21 million stabilizing cycles. These up and down cycles, called compression and rebound cycles, require a lubricant in order to function properly. Over time, this buildup of heat will destroy the elasticity of this grease, similar to how motor oil breaks down over time.

Lower quality fluids experience this much more quickly and unpredictably than their higher-quality (and more expensive) counterparts. Knowing this, Strutmasters insists on only the highest-grade grease to ensure optimal functioning for years to come.

All Charged Up

Strutmasters conversion kits use struts that are filled with pressurized nitrogen. The purpose of this pressurized gas is to maximize dampening performance. Also, this gas prevents what is known as “cavitation,” or the formation of air bubbles and pockets within the system. This cavitation can cause a number of often very dangerous problems. Proper sealing of this gas is therefore essential to proper safe functioning of the struts.


No Bottoming Out

When the strut’s shaft goes deep enough to hit the bottom of the valve, this is known as “bottoming out.” This action puts a tremendous amount of stress on the valving hardware and can quickly and significantly reduce the functionality and lifetime of the whole system.

Strutmasters uses a combination of an internal shaft spring and a high-grade rubber bump stop to virtually eliminate the possibility of bottoming out.

Always in Tune


When using coil shocks, proper tuning is indispensable for correct functioning. The coil springs in Strutmasters kits do the majority of the dampening work. Every vehicle is unique in the way it rides and what it asks of its suspension. Therefore, each kit must provide a different, specific level of dampening support. This is where tuning is important. Properly tuned shocks will provide a vehicle with precisely the amount of support it needs to have a smooth, predictable ride. That’s why each Strutmasters kit is tuned and tested meticulously to ensure the proper ride for that specific make and model. The result is a ride that is equivalent to, or in some cases, superior to the day it rolled off the lot.

Made with genuine Eibach springs

When it comes to compression springs, one name rises above the rest—Eibach. The German company has a long and storied past as the compression spring manufacturer of choice for automobile professionals around the world, from mechanics to racing champions from such prestigious racing series as F1, CART, WRC, NASCAR and Indy Car.

Strutmasters believes that if these springs are good enough for high profile racing, they’re good enough for a family car. Sharing a similar philosophy with Eibach: an insistence on performance, durability and overall quality, it makes sense that every Strutmasters conversion kit come with genuine Eibach springs.

Glide-Ride technology

Ultimately, Strutmasters conversion kits are a total package that is made up of a few different components. These components need to work together in harmony to ensure absolute maximum performance and comprise Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride ® technology.


Glide Ride ® technology guarantees drivers a low-cost replacement for their worn-out OEM struts that works as a unit to provide a long-lasting smooth ride for drivers.


Quality assured

In order to assure quality to customers, Strutmasters needs to be certain of the quality of the manufacturer. Strutmasters undergoes relentless quality assurance procedures to ensure full confidence in each of its manufacturers. It is a need for quality, not the cheapest price, that drives this process. As a result, Strutmasters customers can rest easy knowing that these conversion kits are produced only by well-vetted, trusted manufacturers.


No “discount mounts”

Each strut has a mount which attaches it to the frame of the car. As one would expect, this can be a real problem point for poorly-manufactured or poorly-fitted parts.

This mount features a small rubber piece that is its primary defense against wear and tear. Being such a small, relatively inexpensive piece, this part is one of the ones that often goes overlooked in the engineering and manufacturing process. Many manufacturers will simply place the cheapest piece they can at this part, figuring it to be replaceable or even ignorable.

Cheaper rubber degrades easily, and soon after installation struts that are mounted with these parts will begin to see a loss in function. Strutmasters kits, on the other hand, use only high-grade rubber to insulate these joints, ensuring a long, predictable lifespan for the entire kit and car it’s attached to.

Bearing the load

A car’s bearing plate is what serves as a steering pivot when the vehicle’s wheels are being turned. These bearing plates end up absorbing much of the load-bearing stress of the car during turns as a result.

Cheaper kits often use ball bearings that are made from synthetic materials like plastic, which are simply not appropriate for such a heavy-duty job.

Strutmasters uses heavy, robust ball bearings made of tempered steel, ensuring a long, problem-free lifetime.

Better bushings for a better ride

At the bottom of these strut assemblies is a bushing that connects the strut itself to the rest of the strut assembly. As with any point of contact, high-quality materials and top-shelf manufacturing are unduly important to it functioning correctly.

Therefore, the bushings in all Strutmasters kits are made a superior rubber that ensures the suspension will perform as needed and that the car stays properly aligned.

Made in the USA

As a company that is proud to call the United States of America home, Strutmasters recognizes the importance of both the American auto industry and the importance of supporting domestic manufacturing as a whole. Strutmasters also believes that “Made in the USA” is as a good, reliable stamp of quality.

Choosing to do business with American manufacturers also allows Strutmasters to develop tight-knit relationships with its suppliers and maintain direct communication at every step of the way. With its manufacturing partners just a phone call away in the same country, speaking the same language with the same business customs, the company can confidently and easily resolve any possible issues that may arise.

Most importantly, by keeping its business in the United States of America, Strutmasters can continue to support American workers and keep its money within its borders.

Rigorous testing

Strutmasters takes the performance and safety of its products seriously. That’s why the company employs professional drivers to rigorously test every single one of its products before putting them out on the market.

These drivers are capable of pushing these suspensions to their limits, knowing that if they can perform to the standards of world-class drivers, they’ll work well for the average driver on the road.

Installation


Conversion kits produced by Strutmasters require no modifications to the vehicle to install, meaning they can easily by done at home by a relatively competent DIY mechanic. For those without the tools or time to take care of installation at home, the ease of installation means fewer expensive labor hours in a professional shop, resulting in even bigger savings.

Each kit is matched with an installation guide and online training video, making installation an easy, inexpensive fix for just about anyone.

Lifetime warranty


Strutmasters stands by every single one of its conversion kits with a limited lifetime warranty. While the company has undergone every possible test to ensure maximum performance and longevity, it is proud to offer this warranty as a vote of confidence to all of its clients and customers.

Customer support

Many competitors stop service after the point of sale as a way to save on internal costs. However, Strutmasters understands that it is people who make the business. That’s why there is a professional support team at the ready to help out, whether a customer has purchased a small component or wholesale kits.

Whether it’s a specific question about a kit or just general suspension advice, the Strutmasters team of suspension experts is on duty for extended business hours, ready to help.

CLAY MILLICAN WINS HIS FIRST EVER NHRA RACE IN HOME STATE

CLAY MILLICAN WINS HIS FIRST EVER 

NHRA RACE IN HOME STATE

 

Bristol, TN (June 18, 2017) – He went to his first final round in 2004 and 13 years later, Clay Millican finally won his first NHRA race at the 2017 Thunder Valley Nationals in the University of Northwestern Ohio/Parts Plus/Great Clips Top Fuel Dragster. It was an emotional win for the Tennessee native who has been runner-up eight times, before winning during his ninth final round appearance.

 

“19 years, 228 races and what better place to win than in Bristol, Tennesse. I am a Tennessee boy through and through; it’s my home,” exclaimed Millican. “I am really, really happy for David Grubnic and all the boys who work on this car. I mean that 100 percent. They bust their butts.”

 

Millican came into race day in the No. 4 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 3.810 at 321.12 mph.  In Round One, Millican came up against Kyle Wurtzel. Millican took off and smoked the tires, but Wurtzel broke right off the starting line. Clay took the win going 5.313/139.40. In Round Two, Millican raced Brittany Force. It was a close race with Millican having the starting line advantage, and he kept the advantage to take the win with a 4.011/294.18 to 4.060/267.85.

 

In the semifinals Millican came up against Steve Torrence. In an ironic twist, the dragster Millican is piloting used to belong to Torrence’s father, Billy. Once again it was a close race, with both drivers having nearly identical reaction times, but Millican defeated Torrence 3.812/319.90 to 3.949/303.57.

 

In the finals, Millican faced Leah Pritchett, who has won three times already this season but Millican got to the finish line first with a 3.825/316.38 to 3.881/307.09.

 

Winning his first race on Father’s Day made Millican’s win even more emotional. Millican and his wife Donna lost their son Dalton two years ago.

 

“I wondered if I would ever win one of these. I thought maybe it’s not meant to be. My Momma told me if the time was right, it would happen. There is no such thing as a coincidence,” Millican said. “There were so many signs/things today I know was Dalton. Father’s Day is a tough day for anyone who lost a child. Dalton was riding with me today. He got me four win lights. There is no such thing as a coincidence. When the time was right it was going to happen. Today the time was right.”

 

This is a big win for Stringer Performance which is an independent team racing out of McLeansboro, Illinois, taking on big multi-car teams in the NHRA. For team owner Doug Stringer, Bristol also seems to be a lucky place.

 

“The last time my wife and I were here in Bristol, Kasey Kahne won his last Great Clips Cup race and we went to victory lane. To come back here and win with Clay and fulfilling the dreams of all these kids, it’s an awesome feeling,” said Stringer.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner, and general manager Lance Larsen. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

 

MILLICAN SHOWING INDEPENDENT TEAMS CAN COMPETE WITH BIG GUYS

MILLICAN SHOWING INDEPENDENT TEAMS

CAN COMPETE WITH BIG GUYS

 

McLeansboro, IL (June 21, 2017) – Fresh from his first NHRA race win last week in Bristol, Clay Millican is ready to keep the momentum going at the 2017 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. He is ready to put the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster back in the Winner’s Circle.

 

“I’ve been so overwhelmed with all the messages and congrats I’ve received since Sunday night. My phone and social media has just blown up. I’m just so grateful,” Millican said. “I’ve always been confident that Grubby (Crew Chief David Grubnic) and the crew would get us in the Winner’s Circle. We’re just a small single-car team, but we showed the big guys that we can get the job done.”

 

Unlike most professional Top Fuel teams, the Stringer Performance team is based out of the small town of McLeansboro, Illinois. The crew is relatively young with most of them never working on a professional race team before. There are no high-tech frills in their shop. In fact, it’s a barn and it’s located in car owner Doug Stringer’s backyard. In their off time the crew fish in a pond down the hill or take shooting practice in the farm field.

 

“We are really a family team. That is something we really value and appreciate,” Stringer said. “I just can’t tell you how proud I am of everyone after our win in Bristol. They all worked their tails off to compete against the multi-car teams and bring home a win. I know they’ll do it again soon.”

 

Millican and Stringer have worked together for three years now. In that time the team has continued to improve. In 2015 Millican finished the season No.11 and last year cracked the top 10. The victory in Bristol has put Millican No.7 in the NHRA Mello Yello points standings, only 10 points behind Brittany Force.

 

Upon their return to McLeansboro after a month away on the NHRA Eastern Swing, the entire town has been invited to welcome the Stringer Performance team home and celebrate their Bristol win on Tuesday evening.

 

 

2017 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Schedule

Friday, June 23

6:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 1

8:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 2

 

Saturday, June 24

1:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 3

4:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 4

 

Sunday, June 25

11:00 a.m. Nitro Eliminations Begin

 

 

2017 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals TV Schedule on FS1

Friday, June 23 – 10:30 p.m. Qualifying Coverage

Sunday, June 25 – 12:00 a.m. Qualifying Coverage

Sunday, June 25 – 6:00 p.m. Eliminations Coverage

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner, and general manager Lance Larsen. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

Nissan Armada latest vehicle to get the Strutmasters treatment

 

Roxboro, NC – Owners of the beloved Nissan Armada now have a high-quality, inexpensive option when replacing their worn out suspension system thanks to Strutmaster Inc, which has added a conversion kit for the luxury SUV to its celebrated catalog.
Strutmasters developed a conversion kit for the Armada following an increase in demand for strut replacements for the 2004-2015 model years.

“The Nissan Armada has been a tremendously popular vehicle for good reason,” said Strutmasters Vice President Matt Lofton. “However, like most four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs that spend a lot of time on the road, the costly air suspension system tends to be one of the first things to wear out.”

The Strutmasters conversion kits are manufactured with genuine Eibach ® coil springs and made in the USA to ensure the utmost durability for the large luxury SUV. The company uses its patented Glide-Ride ® technology to tune its shocks, ensuring a smooth ride comparable or even preferable to the original suspension system. As with all of its industry-leading technology, Strutmasters offers a limited lifetime warranty on these replacement kits.Armada

“Replacing a worn out suspension on a four-wheel drive vehicle has traditionally been a big, expensive job,” said Lofton. “We were delighted to develop this conversion kit that replaces the original struts at a fraction of the cost without any loss in quality.”

The conversion kits are now ready for wholesale and individual purchase. Repair shops and individual customers can learn more about this new product by visiting Strutmasters.com or by calling one of their Suspension Experts at 866-597-2397.

Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8am to 10pm EST, and Saturdays from 8am to 8pm EST.

Strutmasters now offers conversion kit for Mercedes S500

 

Roxboro, NC – Owners of the Mercedes S500 may have the answer to the car’s well-documented air suspension issues with Strutmasters Inc.’s air suspension conversion kit, produced for model years 2000-2006.
The German luxury sedan has been rife with problems with its air suspension. Strutmasters saw an opportunity to provide a low-cost replacement to help alleviate the suspension problems in an otherwise high-quality, mechanically sound vehicle.

“The S500 conversion kit was a no-brainer for us,” said Strutmasters Vice President Matt Lofton. “It is a wonderful vehicle, one of the best in its class, that unfortunately has some issues with its air suspension.”

The Strutmasters conversion kits are made with an emphasis on high-quality, long-lasting parts and workmanship. Manufactured with genuine Eibach ® coil springs and tuned with the company’s celebrated Glide-Ride ® technology, the conversion kits will be a welcome replacement for the S500’s troubled air suspension system. The kits require no modification to the vehicle to install, making it easy to do at home or quick work for a mechanic. With the addition of Strutmasters’ signature limited lifetime warranty, Mercedes owners can be confident that they can significantly extend the lifetime of their vehicle.2005-mercedes-s-class

“Replacing the original air struts on the S500 would cost about four times what it would with our replacement kit,” said Lofton. “This type of issue is exactly why Strutmasters was born in the first place and we’re happy to be able to help people hold on to these great vehicles. It’s one of the best parts of this business.”

The conversion kits are now ready for wholesale and individual purchase. Repair shops and individual customers can learn more about this new product by visiting Strutmasters.com or by calling one of their Suspension Experts at 866-597-2397.

Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8am to 10pm EST, and Saturdays from 8am to 8pm EST.

Strutmasters Releases Jaguar XJ8 Air Suspension Conversion Kit

Roxboro, NC – Jaguar XJ8 owners now have an affordable solution when replacing their vehicles air suspension thanks to the latest innovation by Strutmasters Inc., a 4-wheel conversion kit built for model years 2004-2010.

 

The Roxboro-based industry leaders in suspension replacement technology added conversion kits for the popular British sports car as it tries to keep up with growing demand for its products.

10549065-jaguar-xj8“More and more car owners are beginning to see the benefits of converting to coil suspension,” said Strutmasters Vice President Matt Lofton. “Even drivers of luxury and high-performance vehicles like the Jaguar XJ8 have started to realize that there are options beyond the original manufacturers expensive parts.”

Strutmasters engineered the kits to be easy to install, requiring no modifications to the vehicle itself. Made with genuine Eibach ® coil springs, the replacement kits integrate seamlessly with Jaguar’s four-wheel independent suspension system. The kit’s shocks are tuned with Strutmasters’ patented Glide-Ride ® technology, ensuring that they are just as smooth and reliable if not more so than the original air suspension. Like all of the company’s conversion kits, the XJ8 conversion features a limited lifetime warranty.

“For the cost of replacing just one air strut, Jaguar owners can now replace all four,” said Lofton. “Many people who have converted to our kits have said they even prefer the ride to the original parts.”

The conversion kits are now ready for wholesale and individual purchase. Repair shops and individual customers can learn more about this new product by visiting Strutmasters.com or by calling one of their Suspension Experts at 866-597-2397.

Business hours are Moday through Friday, 8am to 10pm EST, and Saturdays from 8am to 8pm EST.