Noted Reviews from Buyers:
Practical Engine Airflow by John Baechtel, is a Pro Series SA Design book that is extremely well-written. It is an in-depth book that covers performance theory and applications, how to interpret data once you have it, flow bench testing, and optimizing intake and heads. I like the way this book is laid out because if follows in a rational order and it has lots of photos and drawings and is very easy to understand which is good because this is a very difficult subject to grasp. We start with some really great explanations of the airflow basics and then we get into the prevalent properties of air which is really pretty technical but the way it’s laid out it’s not that difficult to understand. The parts that I thought were especially interesting were the engine airflow components, like carburetors, throttle bodies, and how to do wave tuning. There is also a section covering torque peak RPM. There’s an entire chapter devoted just to the intake manifold’s plan and characteristics and what you can do to modify these to make them work better. Then we get into cylinder heads and that where this book really shines. There is really a lot to this, looking to see where the power comes from, what’s the best racing combination, what are the flow factors, what about valves and valve sizes and how to evaluate your cylinder head potential.
Then we move on to combustion chambers and cylinder filling pressure recovery and combustion power and efficiency. And from there we move down to the bottom end, which is the exhaust system. I especially like the photos and the detail in the charts as you go along, which helps to explain the different types of exhaust ports. The book also talks about flow path disruptions, exhaust flow tuning and what you can do to make this all flow more efficiently. Next up is the flow bench testing and this is where it really becomes interesting. This is for the rubber meets the road, so to speak. We got everything put together, and now we test it and it will tell us right up front what’s working what’s not and why. there are lot across section photos and drawings that really are necessary to do to fully understand what he’s trying to explain and then we sum the whole thing up with practical applications beginning with the software program and then a tremendous section on engine Masters challenge hemi intake and another example using Cal Automotive Customs 409 hybrid intake manifold. I would say he thoroughly covered the subject. I found it very interesting. Again, excellent photos and graphics, and lots of good concise material. I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re looking to make your car go faster. -DB
I can not say enough wonderful things about this book. From the easy to view size and generous number of well defined, precise photographs, to the clear instructions which did not make me feel like they were "dumbed down" for me. Straightforward and complete. I spent a good number of hours during high school hanging around garages. I have spent weekends with friends up close and personal at the racetrack. I even took a "nontraditional careers" weekend preview course for female auto mechanics at a local trade college. I believe that I learned more, understood more, in this book than those previous experiences and explanations. I plan to buy other books in this series and read them more than once. I also had better educated (than me) mechanics look at this book and all were impressed.They said to bring other books by this author to the shop. If you have a child interested in engines or autosports or someone of any age who can appreciate understanding more about the language and fundamental operations of engine efficiency, you need a copy of this book and I am betting others in the series. I am looking forward to being able to better take part in conversations with my increased understanding. -LD
This book is well written and thorough in its coverage of theory and practice. While it covers well what specialists do, it gives little encouragement to the amateur who wants to try for himself. actually, it sounds like a pretty much closed issue unless you have the training required. The author does offer a good resource list and makes many good references through out the text. All of his examples in the text are backed by examples of how the pro's see and fix the needs for better air flow in high performance and race cars. After reading this book you will know how and why specialists do what they do, informed consumers are better prepared to get the most for their money. And this book will do that for you. Book was awarded by LibraryThing. -TP