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David Anton  email here danton@aptfast.com

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History of Advanced Performance Technology (APT) and how we got from 1984 to today.

Started by David Anton and David Vizard in 1983 and formed into a partnership in January 1984

Focus was on the engines of British sports cars, in particular BMC & Triumph but included many other engines back in the day. Other engines included all the popular V8, Cosworth and other Ford engines. Back in the early 80's nitrous was a very popular major way to increase power (it still is of course) and we built, dyno'd and broke several of them. Ranging from a 170 HP 1400 mini engine which we eventually melted because, in our excitement, we forgot to change the "hot" plugs for the very "cold" ones. Then there was the small block Chevy with high nickel block, making 1100 HP which pulled the deck off the block. It was a good test for ARP studs however.

Flow bench testing of British sports car heads started in 1982 with a serious and actually never ending program on the 'B' series head. Not all of it for regular street or race use. We used to offset bore the valve guide bores, install a "top hat" design steel sleeve, and then we could use a regular replaceable guide. 'B' heads ended up with intake valves up to 1.780" diameter, 'A' series to 1.530" and 4 degree angled heads as well. They all worked great, the issue, who wants a ten thousand dollar cylinder head?

In 1982 we bought our top of the range SuperFlow SF800 dyno. The capability of this machine was a game changer, At this time accelerated runs, step function testing and race track simulation were unheard of for less than a few hundred thousand dollars. The processing was actually done by the dyno itself. The attached computer only formated the dyno data, only had twin floppy disk drives and 4K of memory. There was not any DOS in those days, nobody had heard of Bill Gates (should have stayed that way), and out put was to a dot matrix printer or a pen plotter. The dyno had many upgrades over the years, but was fantastic in it's capabilities even when compared to the Land & Sea unit we run now. So by 1984 we already had a flow bench, computerized dyno and a small machine shop.

To check camshaft profiles while also getting a good reading on not just the design criteria, but also the accuracy of the grinding We used  another brilliant tool for the time and money, the "Cam Doctor". This machine taught us a lot. Many of the profile designs were not very good, and probably only survived by being more conservative, but with a lack of true potential because of it. Many design's where "step function" designed with a slide rule, and laid out on a large drawing initially to try and keep some accuracy. Worse still were the problems arising from the manufacturing process. The care and operation of the cam grinder by the operator were of course major factors, the major factor was that the profile had major flaws, very obvious upon examination of the derivative numbers, velocity, acceleration and jerk. What this showed was that the masters that the machine was following had been copied from a finished cam. Some were so bad that they could only have had the master made by copying a copy of a copy.

My mentor Harvey Crane told me that 75% of the cams out there are actually copies. When it comes to British sports car cams the number is higher than that. Back in the day all calculations were done with a slide rule, so this is understandable, there was nothing else. Today custom computer programing on very fast computers lets us easily produce cam designs with twelve place precision, here is what that looks like: 0.000000000001  The data you see on the printed version of our design sheets is eight place data, so truncated.
Our present day cam checker measures to 500,000 of an inch, and the computer lets us instantly compare the measured data with the design data which we use as a tool to make improvements wherever we can. Just a quick point here, if you don't have the original design data you can't even do this!

What to do about the obvious camshaft issues?
In 1996 we started on the learning requirement to design cam lobes that met all the required mechanical requirements while obtaining the performance increase's we were looking for. So, by the turn of the century (sounds a long time ago right) we were able to produce very accurate masters (unless it is a CNC cam grinders are a 'copy' machine) and have control over most aspects of the manufacturing process.

Today, we have been able to up our game, and produce cams with greater accuracy than in the past AND increased performance while keeping safely within the mechanical constraint's of the system like cam follower diameter, valve train stiffness, and spring harmonics.

Things do change, and while our camshaft sales keep increasing, other area's that used to amount to regular sales every week, day in day out have gone away, A couple of examples: book sales slowed when Amazon came on the scene, then disappeared totally when they were able to hook up with book resellers. Rimflow valves and recurved distributors due to price and availability issues, and then there were things like clutches, worst aspect being lack of quality. There are a couple of brands better than all the others, but very difficult to sell if customers concentrate on price.

Thankfully we have been able to position ourselves in a very strong position with our cams and valve train components, great thanks goes out to you our customers.

Please call for engine building ideas anytime.

David Anton