2019 SEMA Show

Discussion in 'NFC Forum' started by Dr.Jeff, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    Last week was this year's SEMA Show. I'll try and recall some of the interesting things I came across that might be of interest to our forum members. Really just too much to do it any justice though.

    I've always liked the Italian "tricolore" paint accents on some cars. This one is a bit over the top but looked striking in person. It was done with wrap materials. Wrap products were even bigger than ever this year - it just keeps getting better and is growing into a significant segment in the refinishing market. I don't particularly care for the wheels on this car, which is funny because that is what it was there to display (in the wheel company's booth):

    On the subject of wheels, Rota displayed another one of their "retro" styles. I do not recall the name of it and I did not have the time to see what sizes and fitments it is available in. But I think it would look good on the X. Very Italian, patterned after a classic:

    This Ferrari was a featured display in last year's show, but only shown at the outdoor general area this year. It is a very cool restomod of sorts; lots of modern upgrades and mods (including air suspension). Looks great, and the car hauler it is sitting on was cool too:
    003 - Copy.jpg 004 - Copy.jpg 005 - Copy.jpg

    Honda always has a large display with plenty of great show cars (as do all of the major car makers). I particularly liked this little guy, very cleanly modified. And complete with a bike engine swap - it's even a Honda in a Honda:
    006 - Copy.jpg 007 - Copy.jpg 008 - Copy.jpg 009 - Copy.jpg

    Needless to say there are hundreds of fantastic cars there, and even more that don't inspire me so much (it's mostly domestic muscle car/hot rod stuff). But for the most part it is impossible to get decent pictures of them due to the overly crowded and tightly cramped conditions. The press are allowed access the day before the show opens so you can find better pics online. The few I managed to get were very early in the mornings and at opportune moments when that particular vehicle wasn't swamped. I guess in that respect it is fortunate that most of the attendees are not interested in Euro cars.

    After nearly 30 years of attending the show I've formulated a game plan that allows me to focus only on things I am particularly interested in. So there is a lot that I skip in order to just cover the 'good' stuff in the limited 4 day event (way too much to take in over that period otherwise). And most of my time/energy is spent conducting business, researching particular subjects, looking for new ideas to develop products, and catching up with old friends. So I will try and add more bits of information along the way as things come to mind.
  2. fastx19

    fastx19 Administrator Moderator

    Santa Clara, CA
    It is nice to see some of this. I also belong to the group Sema Fails, and it is pretty amazing. The funniest part is the number of jacked up 4x4's there with what are being called "BlueTooth Drive Shafts" In other words, the drive shaft for the front is just not there.

    The rota wheel looks great as well.
    mkmini, Brayden_connolly and Dr.Jeff like this.
  3. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    "Sema fails"? Not sure what you mean by that. Glad to hear other X guys make the show.

    Ya, trucks have been a huge thing for many years now, but they seem to just keep growing at the show. I find those gigantic ones with enormous wheels/tires and ultra high lifted suspensions to be particularly amusing. I'm sure you noticed all of the "overland" ones this year. Apparently that's the latest marketing gimmick in the truck sector. It's funny to me because they are acting like it's something new, but I recall back in the 60's it was very popular with the Jeep clubs. They towed small trailers behind their Jeeps with the same gear and did the same 'adventure' camping.

    Every year there tend to be some particular trends at the show. In the general 'performance engine' aspect I notice turbos keep growing, with more options and support from the aftermarket than ever. I also came across a new (to me, they've been around for a couple of years) company with really nice standalone ECU offerings. Really well engineered and lots of great features. But they are quite pricey. I still have some of my notes from the show to sort through, but when I find it I'll post about these ECUs and what impressed me most about them. Did you see anything in particular that stood out?
  4. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    Because I don't take a lot of photos, and I don't have access to the uncrowded press day, I'll add a link to some pics taken by the guys from Grassroots Motorsports magazine. Naturally they focused mainly on the import, race car type vehicles, but believe me when I say there are 100 American muscle car/hotrods on display for every one of these.

    Included is a great shot of the car hauler that the Ferrari restomod was on (in my earlier pictures).
  5. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    I've finally had a chance to start going through the literature/notes from the show. The ECU products that I referenced earlier are from "Emtron". They've been in Australia for a few years but are looking to make more of a presence here in the US. Their products seem to be pretty high end and offer some features that I haven't found in most of the competitors stuff. The entry level ECU for a four cylinder engine starts at $1600, so it's not cheap. But that is still less than other high end ECUs. Might be worth a look if you are shopping for a system:

    On the topic of ECU's, there is a US company that has some interesting items: Performance Electronics. Although they have been around for quite awhile, they are not well known because their primary emphasis has been to design/engineer and build products for other companies. Several other brands of ECUs are actually made by them. What's interesting is they are a fairly small company and the engineers are typical gear heads like us. So they welcome any interest in odd or unusual applications and will create custom items at reasonable prices (I guess that might be relative). They have a small ECU ("PE3 SP") that is very similar to MegaSquirt's "MicroSquirt"; originally designed for things like 4-cyl motorcycles, it can be used on basic 4-cyl car engines like the SOHC. While this particular item isn't as full featured as their bigger products, it is a more affordable ($750) than many others out there (except for the MicroSquirt - hard to beat it for price).
  6. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    A new thread in the "workshop" section included something that reminded me of another interesting discussion I had at the show. Actually this was at the sister show, "AAPEX".

    "GB", the company that rebuilds fuel injectors (very popular on RockAuto), was there with a nice display. I've used their rebuilt injectors before so I was familiar with the name and stopped to take a look. I met the company's engineer and we had a great conversation. Interesting company history and backstory, and a really nice bunch of guys (and one woman, the boss). But the thing that stood out to me most was a statement he made; that pretty much EVERY old fuel injector can be rebuilt back to factory specs. The one main exception is if the unit has been dropped directly on the nozzle tip, damaging it beyond use. Otherwise they can all be saved. That surprised me a bit. I figured there were many with so much aged varnish, corrosion, deposits, worn components, etc, that a fairly high percentage would be unusable. He told me all of that cleans up, their components have extremely long lives, and the spray pattern can be returned to normal without the need to replace much internally. The process is actually quite simple; properly clean the injector internally and externally - both forward and backflush, replace the little filter in the inlet, test it, and that's pretty much all. Worst case scenario it goes back through the cleaning process more until it is right. This is directly from the guy that oversees all of the rebuilding that takes place there (which is a LOT of injectors). Wow.

    They had on display their top line cleaning equipment and test rigs. Cool stuff (I've always liked things that look like lab equipment), but actually fairly straight forward in design. Several years ago I made pretty much the same setup just to do routine servicing of my injectors. The one thing I hadn't been doing was replacing the internal filter, because I did not realize they were available and how easy it is to do. So after my detailed discussion with him, and some demonstrations, I'm pretty confident I could restore any of my old injectors now (I have a few sets that I've replaced over the years). GB will sell me the replacement filters and even the same cleaning solution they use if desired. Furthermore it turns out the company is located near where I once lived, and the engineer and I have many things in common (possibly even some mutual friends). So we exchanged contact info and I will get some supplies from him the next time I go back that way.

    The take home messages here are: 1) there is no need to buy new injectors, when rebuilt ones are the exact same spec at a fraction of the price, 2) it is worth having your injectors serviced (the demo was very revealing), and 3) a lot of the stories online about injectors failing are really just myths.
    Another great day at work.
    kmead likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice