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Tuesday Coverage | 2023 SEMA Show

Today the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For this week, the show is the epicenter of all things automotive aftermarket. We are on the scene putting the miles in on our shoes to comb the aisles for the coolest performance upgrades that you might be adding to your program for the forthcoming season.


The show is massive, so there is no way to see it all in one day, so we will hit some highlights here for the next few days, so stay tuned.


As fans of domestic performance vehicles, it was heartening to see Ford cleaning up this year in several SEMA vehicle award categories, including Car of the Year: Ford Mustang, Full-Size Truck of the Year: Ford F-Series, 4x4/SUV of the Year: Ford Bronco, and Electric Vehicle of the Year: Ford Lightning. “SEMA Award-winning vehicles are setting worldwide trends in the automotive enthusiast industry,” said Warren Kosikov, SEMA Vice President of Sales. “The Awards recognize the best new vehicles on the market that offer the greatest opportunities for customization. Attendees can see many of these unique award-winning vehicles during the 2023 SEMA Show.” The company also used the occasion to debut several new products for Broncos, Rangers, and of course, Mustangs. In the case of the latter, Ford Performance not only debuted its new 800-horsepower supercharger upgrade, but a full Mustang package dubbed the Ford Mustang FP800S concept package, which is equipped with the new blower upgrade.


If you are looking to mock up an engine or transmission in your race or project car, Speedway Motors developed a range of Solo Swap mockup assemblies that replicated the dimensions of several popular engines from domestic manufacturers. These laser-cut mocks bolt together so they can ship flat, and they allow a lighter, easier-to-manage way to make certain that your powertrain will fit your project.


Speaking of trucks, Detroit Truetrac revealed its new differential for the 2015-2022 Ford F-150 pickup’s factory 8.8-inch rearend. This helical-gear style, limited-slip differential is engineered to deliver more traction with seamless, maintenance-free operation. “Eaton’s aftermarket team continues to listen to feedback from our customers as we add additional products for vehicles operating in North America. We are excited to launch a Truetrac for F-150 trucks with 8.8-inch axles, and expand our performance differential portfolio,” said Jason Denardo, product manager, Aftermarket, Eaton’s Mobility Group. “This Truetrac will allow F-150 owners to easily improve their truck’s traction and performance.”

Speaking of swaps, those looking to drop in an LS engine can do it with style thanks to these Hooker BlackHeart LS Swap Polished Stainless Steel Exhaust Manifolds. Stronger, lighter, and more durable than comparable cast-iron manifolds, their short-tube design allows for more clearance. Plus, the polished finish dresses up the engine compartment.

Exhaust fitment is just as important on new vehicles, and Kooks developed a new set of long-tube headers just for the Gen 4 Coyote-powered 2024 Mustang GT. These 1 7/8x3-inch headers are mandrel-bent from 304 stainless steel and feature 3/8-inch-thick flanges that resist warpage. They include the necessary mounting accessories and wiring harness extensions to facilitate the relocation of the factory oxygen sensors.

As popular as the Fox Mustang platform is for performance, its factory four-link rearend was never heralded for its handling performance. For those looking to revamp the performance at the back of these cars, Ridetech developed a complete, bolt-on independent suspension swap engineered specifically for the Fox. It makes use of factory 2015-2023 driveline and brake parts to ensure OE-style reliability.


Aftermarket support for the Godzilla platform is breathing fire, and the crew at Livernois Motorsports developed its Race Series version of the factory head that deploys CNC porting to improve airflow by more than 20 percent to 400 cfm. The heads are also upgraded with custom valves, valve seats, and other trick parts so that they are ready to support four-digit output from Ford’s modern 7.3-liter pushrod engine. 


The boost specialists at ProCharger showed off several new products at the show, including the new F-4X-136 race blower. Designed to deliver as much as 55 pounds of boost and support as much as 3,200 horsepower, this unit carries a max impeller-speed rating of 72,000 rpm and it can move as much as 4,200 cfm. For street/strip machines, ProCharger also showed off its new Stage II intercooled supercharger system for the 2024 Mustang GT and Dark Horse, which promises to add more than 300 horsepower while burning pump gas.

You might hear the word Godzilla a lot this week, but swapping one has been a change due to the throttle body angle and height of the factory truck intake, Holley developed this new Low-Profile Intake Manifold that delivers 2 to 3 1/2 inches more clearance than the factory intake and its rugged aluminum casting should stand up to huge levels of boost.

For GM’s storied LS engines, Air Flow Research created its new LS Enforcer Rectangle-Port 260cc cylinder heads. Based on the company’s LS3 Mongoose 12-inch heads, these as-cast heads are available fully assembled with PAC valve springs, hardened spring cups, ductile-iron seats, and stainless-steel valves.

QA1 flexed several new products, including its Proma Star struts for 2004-2014 Mustangs, lowering kits for Ford F-150s, and Proma Star struts for the 1982-1992 Camaro. The Proma Star line is available in single or double-adjustable versions with 18 settings. They deploy an inverted-cartridge design that reduces unsprung weight and allows for independent preload and ride height settings. They can be paired with a number of coilover springs to suit your combination.

Racers running in the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout seeking an edge can consider this new TCI Stage 2 Torque Converter for the Dodge 8HP70 automatic transmission. Built as a performance companion to COMP Cams’ HRT Stage II camshafts for the 5.7- and 6.4-liter Gen III Hemi engines, this converter features a stall speed from 2,700 to 3,000 rpm.

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