About Us

STAR Machine specializes in crankcase vacuum technology for the motorsports industry. Using sound engineering principals combined with creative concepts and modern manufacturing techniques, STAR Machine is dedicated to providing only the finest quality vacuum pumps and components. Each pump is dyno tested and must meet or exceed the free flow and peak vacuum levels STAR Machine has published in our Performance Graphs before it is shipped. Star Machine factually represents our pumps performance, size and weight. We don't use vague terms such as "lighter than" or "more volume than". We provide you with the exact weight, dimensions and performance of our products. The availability of 3D Model downloads of our vacuum pumps is an Industry first.

Another "industry first" is the claim of one of our competitors to have a vacuum pump that flows 100 CFM. Right!, maybe on the exhaust side where it's meaningless. Just another outrageous claim made without the slightest shred of evidence. And "more vacuum pumps than anyone else". Does "anyone else" include the entire vacuum pump industry, which FAR exceeds the companies in the racing industry in quantity, size AND technology. And another claim by a competitor of "26% more air flow", 26% more than WHAT!?.

Our point is Star Machine has always and will continue to represent our products honestly and factually.

  • More current national records have been set in NHRA, IHRA and PDRA using STAR Machine vacuum pumps than all others combined
  • 8 straight IHRA Pro Stock National Championships won using our Mountain Motor Vacuum Pump!
  • Eight of the top ten ADRL Pro Nitrous teams in 2010 were equipped with Star Machine Vacuum Pumps!
  • 7 of top 10 Finishers for 2010 in NHRA Comp Eliminator currently use our vacuum pumps!
  • 9 of the top 12 2010 Division 1 finishers in Comp Eliminator currently use our vacuum pumps!

Vacuum History 101: Using Smog Pumps (a.k.a. Air Pumps) as Vacuum Pumps

All of the leading professional engine builders abandoned the use of Smog Pumps over a decade ago with the advent of purpose built/aftermarket vacuum pumps. Here's why: Those not familiar with history are destined to repeat it. Smog pumps were conceived in the 1960's by the auto manufacturers to help reduce exhaust emissions. The theory was simple: add oxygen to the exhaust gases by pumping air into them. The object of the Smog Pump, and its subsequent design, was conceived to pump air, not to produce vacuum. During the 1980's and into the 1990's, serious engine builders who realized the potential advantages of crankcase vacuum utilized these pumps. They were readily available in junk yards and auto parts stores at a reasonable cost. Since the idea of crankcase vacuum was a relatively new concept at the time, there were no purpose built/aftermarket vacuum pumps available to the racing industry.

These smog pumps were being used for the complete opposite purpose for which they were originally intended (to generate negative pressure as opposed to positive pressure). The pumps were also never designed to be connected to a crankcase on the intake side. Since these pumps were ultimately designed to pump air, no regard was given in their design to generate vacuum. They were never engineered to be used as a vacuum pump. Engine builders soon realized that in order to sustain satisfactory vacuum results, these pumps would have to be operated at a much higher RPM than were ever intended. These higher speeds resulted in frequent failures rendering them to a throw away status since the damage was usually catastrophic. The higher speeds also became a "catch 22" scenario since the additional power required to operate the pumps this fast was negating any additional Horsepower gains from the additional vacuum. Due to their design, smog pumps also have very poor maximum potential vacuum numbers. CFM numbers, although important, are meaningless if vacuum potential is low.

Another consideration is the smog pumps adverse sensitivity to heat. A vacuum pump is an air compressor and the act of compressing air generates heat. Anyone who owns an air compressor is aware of this. All OEM smog pumps are a "fixed" vane design which compromises their performance as temperature rises. All aftermarket racing vacuum pumps are a "floating" vane design. The floating vane remains in constant contact with the bore of the housing so regardless of expansion due to heat, clearances and performance are not affected. In a fixed vane design, clearances are continuously increasing with temperature. Both CFM and vacuum will diminish as the smog pump gets hotter resulting in inconsistency. Our tests have shown that a fixed vane design pump, under extreme racing conditions can lose as much as 15-20% efficiency. If you're a bracket racer going rounds in the heat of the summer you may want to give this consideration.

Compared to today's aftermarket vacuum pumps which are designed specifically to produce vacuum in an engine crankcase, OEM Smog Pumps operate at a significant performance disadvantage. Physically, the smog pumps are approximately twice the size and more than double the weight; a serious consideration for a weight conscious race car. From a performance perspective, the smog pump is approximately 50% less efficient at making vacuum and 20% less efficient at free flow (CFM) than a well designed aftermarket vacuum pump. This means that the Smog Pump will need to operate about 46% faster to achieve similar results but will never be as consistent.

Be well aware that smog pumps REQUIRE OIL to run without failure!

About the Pumps

With four distinctly different mechanical pumps and an electric pump, STAR Machine has an ideal vacuum solution for any racing application. No longer do you have to settle for a compromise when choosing a vacuum pump. Size for size and pound for pound, no other vacuum pumps can match the performance, efficiency and reliability of STAR Machine pumps. And as always none of our vacuum pumps require oiling to run with out failure.

At STAR Machine, vacuum pumps are not just another page in a sea of products in a catalogue. We specialize in vacuum pumps; it's all we do. Extensive research and development, on and off track testing and feedback from past and current world champion racers and engine builders has led to what STAR Machine has to offer. Our pumps incorporate precision coating processes to reduce wear and friction. Port locations with respect to vane timing have been optimized. We are the first racing vacuum pump manufacturer to utilize a one-piece aluminum shaft/rotor combination. This design eliminates fastener failure, key/keyway wear and dissimilar thermal expansion rates which allows reduced clearances for greater efficiency. We use precision sealed bearings with outboard locations for isolation from extreme heat, contamination and ease of service. Strategic profiling results in more surface area for better heat dissipation. Mating surfaces are o'ringed to insure sealing. The proprietary vane material is superior to others currently used in racing vacuum pumps.

These features all contribute to pumps which operate with less friction, less heat and less wear. STAR Machine pumps are typically run at slower speeds than other pumps while maintaining better results.

Most of our pumps contain a provision for a built in vacuum regulator eliminating the need to cut holes and welding. A pump-mounted regulator also reduces additional oil from being scavenged from the crankcase when the vacuum exceeds the regulator set point because its location is outside the crankcase. This location also allows ambient air to flow directly into the pump, instead of only heated crankcase air, helping cool the pump thus reducing parasitic loss. All STAR Machine regulators are infinitely adjustable, there are no springs or shims to "fool" with. Simply loosen the jamb nut and turn the head to increase or decrease the vacuum set point. All our regulators have screened inlets to keep dirt out of our pumps and out of your engine. In addition to the pump mounted regulator STAR Machine also has traditional models, inline models that can be spliced into a hose at any location and models that mount directly onto other pumps containing -12 AN fittings. All internal parts are interchangeable.

All Star Machine vacuum pumps are warranted for one year from date of purchase to be free from defects in material and workmanship. Electrical parts excluded. You DO NOT have to use our intake/exhaust tank to be covered by this policy. However, if your pump purchase also included our tank and was included as part of the original installation, the vacuum pump warranty is further expanded to be "unconditional" during the first year. Any vacuum pump submitted for warranty NOT using our tank that is determined to be damaged by foreign engine parts I.E. a piece of valve spring material or needle bearing will not be warranted. The above policy is currently in effect, has been in effect since September 2002, and has not changed. This is the most comprehensive vacuum pump warranty policy in the industry.

About the Service

Every company in the world tells you they have great service. The truth is that at one time or another we have all had our moments with someone we have spent our money with and wish we didn't. At STAR Machine we feel our service sets the standard that any business should be trying to achieve. Nothing we print here will convince you that our service is different than anyone else.

We encourage you to ask Anyone with a STAR Machine vacuum pump about their experience with our company. We are very proud of the relationships we have forged within the racing community and cherish the privilege of our customers' business.

We look at every pump application on an individual basis to ensure you get the correct pump for your application.

Once the correct pump is determined we further fine-tune your application by selecting the proper pulley ratio to satisfy your needs. After all, would a specific pump and ratio that's ideal for a four cylinder engine that turns 11,000 RPM and trying to maintain 10 Hg. also be the ideal components for an 815 CI Pro Stock engine that turns 7600 RPM and trying to maintain 22 Hg.? You don't have to be a vacuum specialist to know the answer. The ideal pump for any application is the one that satisfies the requirements with the least parasitic loss.

Whether you're a professional engine builder who has been using vacuum technology for thirty years, or a racer with no prior vacuum experience, our experience is at your disposal.