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Coretalk: National Crankshaft Co. Becomes Newest EPWI Branch Warehouse

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NCC joins other EPWI warehouses located in Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Dallas, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, Portland (OR), Tacoma and Anchorage.

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“EPWI is making enhancements to the programs and product lines currently offered, as well as adding many new product lines” according to Paul Van Woensel, president of EPWI. “NCC’s customer support programs are being combined and expanded with EPWI’s successful programs. A newly installed computer system will give this branch warehouse access to inventories of all 11 other EPWI locations, to better serve our customers’ needs.”

EPWI specializes in serving the complete replacement and performance engine parts needs of machine shops and jobber stores throughout the central plains and western United States.

Visit the company’s Web site at www.epwi.net for more information.

NPR Kentucky President Yasuyoshi Egam Named Kentucky Colonel

Yasuyoshi Egam, president of Nippon Piston Ring Kentucky, was recently named a Kentucky Colonel by Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. NPR has announced its plans to build a $49 million piston ring manufacturing facility in Bardstown, KY.

When completed in October 2007, the factory will hire 150 workers needed within two years of operation.

The company plans to reach a production capacity of 4 million piston rings in 2008 and 18 million in 2010.

The facility will be the company’s third U.S. manufacturing operation.

Mazda-Cosworth Engines To Power All Champ Car Atlantic Series Racecars

As the drivers of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship compete in the 2006 season, they’ll all have at least one thing in common: every driver will be propelled by a 300-hp 2.3L four-cylinder Mazda MZR engine prepared by Cosworth Engineering and known as the Mazda-Cosworth YDX.

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Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has entered into a three-year integrated marketing partnership with the Champ Car Atlantic Championship to provide engines and marketing support to the series.

The series, now dubbed “Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda,” will compete with the cars of the Champ Car World Series on 12 street circuit and permanent road course race weekends throughout North America. Competing in newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3L Mazda-Cosworth engine riding on Yokohama ADVAN Racing Slicks, 2006 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion’s bonus.

The MZR engine was designed by Mazda, and is produced both in Hiroshima, Japan, and Hermosillo, Mexico. It is used in the company’s MAZDA3, MAZDA5, MAZDA6, MAZDASPEED6, Tribute and B-Series, as well as the Ford Focus, Escape, Fusion and Ranger.

“Adding the Atlantic series to the Mazda portfolio is the perfect addition to our open-wheel racing ladder: drivers can start in Club Racing in the steel-chassis rotary-powered Formula Mazda, graduate to the next level in the carbon-fiber-tub professional Formula Mazda, and then to the Mazda-powered Atlantic at the top rung,” said Robert Davis, MNAO’s senior vice president, product development and quality, and the man responsible for Mazda’s North American motorsports programs.

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Engine Builder Reader Nets $100 For Having Email Address – Are You Next?

Gordon Johnson, of Johnson Machine Shop in Bountiful, UT, was named the first winner in Engine Builder’s new bi-monthly contest in which we draw a reader’s name and award $100.

The contest is being used to promote a new email program that will provide readers a link to all of the ads and Web sites of advertisers in each issue of Engine Builder. This new service will eliminate your need to fill out a reader service card and wait for additional information on equipment, parts, services or supplies in which you may be interested.

In addition, participants will be the first to receive a digital version of Engine Builder, currently under development, which will be designed to provide on-line access to technical chat rooms, archived engine rebuilding articles, upcoming industry events, and more.

To start receiving the new monthly email, simply send your name, title, shop name, address and email to [email protected]

U.S. Market For Diesel Engine Parts Expected To Top $420M By 2009

The U.S. market for light-duty truck engine products is projected to rise to $420 million in 2009, a jump of 42.4% from 2004, according to a study by The Freedonia Group.

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As more consumers look to diesels to help alleviate the burden of high gas prices, the demand for diesel engine parts will grow. Freedonia’s study points out that drawbacks typically associated with diesel engines, such as noise and high emissions, have been reduced or eliminated, and consumers will increasingly become aware of this fact. The study also points out, however, that the higher cost of diesel engines compared to gasoline engines will restrain the diesel engine products market from growing at an even faster pace. Also, diesel fuel is currently available in only 40% of U.S. gas stations. Despite these hindrances to growth, Freedonia expects the light-duty truck diesel engine parts market to grow from sales of $295 million in 2004.

The Freedonia Group is an international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. For information on the study, visit www.freedoniagroup.com.

SuperFlow Named Title Sponsor for IMCA’s Five Modified Racing Regions

SuperFlow Technologies is the new title sponsor for each of IMCA’s five Modified regions. The Colorado-based flowbench and dynamometer manufacturer will pay a portion of the point fund distributed to top five drivers in the Western, South Central, Central, North Central and Eastern regions.

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In addition, SuperFlow will be the exclusive dynamometer and flowbench of IMCA and IMCA supporting machine shops, engine builders and chassis manufacturers. Once registered with SuperFlow, IMCA or the Engine Parts Group, participating shops will be eligible for product and service incentives from SuperFlow.

“We’re excited about this partnership,” said SuperFlow CEO Scott Giles. “We look forward to offering IMCA drivers and engine builders new opportunities in the future.”
SuperFlow will set up co-branded SuperFlow/IMCA test centers around the country. Businesses can become official test centers by registering their existing SuperFlow equipment, or purchasing new SuperFlow equipment and registering with IMCA.

To help businesses get started in the program, SuperFlow is offering a 10 percent promotional discount on selected test equipment, including flow-benches and engine and chassis dynamometers, through Aug. 31.

All Modified drivers will be required to display two SuperFlow decals on their race cars to be eligible for point fund shares.

For more information about this series or on IMCA’s contingency sponsors, visit www.imca.com.

Ready To Build Parts For These New GM Engines?

General Motors Corp., in an effort to improve both the performance and fuel economy of its vehicles, unleashed a series of revisions to its future powertrain lineup. Unveiled at GM Powertrain’s headquarters, the changes include 19 all-new or significantly revised engines and transmissions for ’07 vehicles. Although several of the new powertrains already have been detailed in current or soon-to-be-released vehicles, Tom Stephens, group vice president-GM Powertrain, says all are part of GM’s mission to deliver the “world’s best powertrains at the right price, at the right time.”

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Leading the charge earlier this year were the introductions of the new Gen IV small-block V8s in the all-new GMT900 SUVs: the ’07 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade. Displacing 5.3L and 6.2L, the engines produce between 320-403 hp and, depending on application, employ variable valve timing (VVT) and GM’s Active Fuel Management (AFM) cylinder deactivation system. GM plans to add 4.8L and 6L versions as more GMT900 SUV variants are released.

Also unveiled earlier this year was the turbocharged, gasoline direct-fuel injection (DI) 2L 4-cylinder powering the ’07 Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Red Line and Opel GT roadsters. The engine produces 260 hp and is the automaker’s second application of DI technology.

Going forward, the 2L DI Ecotec engine will be joined in 2008 by GM’s third DI powerplant-an all-new, all-aluminum 3.6L V6 featuring VVT and producing 250-300 hp.

The ’07 model year also will see the introduction of GM’s new mild hybrid-electric vehicle powertrain with the release of the new Saturn Vue Green Line CUV this summer. The system, consisting of a 170-hp, 2.4L 4-cylinder mated to an integrated electric motor/generator and four-speed automatic transmission, also will be shared with HEV versions of the ’07 Chevrolet Malibu and the all-new ’07 Saturn Aura sedans, Stephens says. Steve Poulos, chief engineer for GM’s hybrid systems, says the automaker’s hybrid push will hit full swing in ’08, when 2-mode, full HEV versions of the GMT900 pickups and SUVs are released.

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GM plans to offer more conventional engines in ’07, as well, that will offer AFM and E85 compatibility.

To date, GM says it has produced 2 million flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on gasoline or E85 – a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. The company plans to increase its E85-capable offerings from nine models in 2006 to 14 in 2007, accounting for approximately 400,000 units annually. For ’07, GM’s 3.9L V6 will be the next engine to convert to flex-fuel when it appears in fleet models of the Chevrolet Uplander minivan. A different version of the engine, to be fitted in the ’07 Chevrolet Impala sedan, will feature GM’s AFM system. The Impala’s 3.9L mill, which is not E85-compatible, produces 233 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque and is the automaker’s first application of AFM on a V6 engine.

GM’s AFM, supplied by Delphi Corp., debuted in 2003 as Displacement on Demand on Gen IV V8 engines. It currently is available in several cars and trucks powered by the 5.3L V8, including the Chevrolet Impala SS and Monte Carlo SS and certain GMT900 SUVs. The automaker says the technology, which uses unique 2-stage hydraulic valve lifters to deactivate half the engine’s cylinders under light load situations, improves the ’07 Impala’s fuel economy by about 5%-7% compared with the ’06 model. GM’s second V6 AFM application will come this summer when it introduces a new 3L V6 for the Chinese-market Buick LaCrosse. Overall, GM says it will offer AFM on 15 different ’07 models and projects it will have more than 2 million AFM-equipped vehicles on the road by the end of 2008.

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In addition to introducing most of its future powertrains, GM also touts its status as an industry leader in applying the new voluntary Society of Automotive Engineers Certification process for engine horsepower and torque outputs.

Stephens says GM will certify all new engines under independent review, adding that for ’07 the auto maker has certified 24 engines, totaling 102 applications, including 12 current models with at least 380 hp.

Source: www.wardsauto.com.

AMI Introduces Online Format for Automotive Service Management Course

The Automotive Management Institute (AMI) announced today that its Automotive Service Management Course is available in an online format on the Institute’s Web site: www.amionline.org. This 18-credit course is required for completion of the Institute’s Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation.

This is the first AMI course to be offered online. It also is available to students in a self-study print format. “Our goal is to provide easy access to AMI education. This new online format is user-friendly, interactive and easy to follow,” said AMI Executive Director Toni Slaton, AAM.

The Automotive Service Management Course is an introduction to three of the most critical business development skills: sales and marketing, personnel management, and financial and business management. Sales and Marketing addresses the challenges of finding and keeping a solid customer base. Personnel Management dissects the hiring process and helps pinpoint applicant recruitment and selection criteria. This segment includes writing a job description, finding qualified applicants and selecting the right employee. The Financial and Business Management segment provides an understanding of financial statements and how productivity and efficiency affect the bottom line.

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“This format gives students the flexibility and convenience to take the course when it fits their busy schedule. Students can take the course in one setting or complete it in modules to best accommodate their needs,” said John Francis, Jr., AAM, AMI Board of Trustees chairman.

A post-course exam is required once all modules are taken. To learn more about the course, visit the Self-Study section of the AMI Online Catalog. AMI recommends that students use a high-speed Internet connection to take the course as it includes multi-media and interactive features.

For more information about the Institute, its curriculum, or EXCEL, please contact AMI at (800) 272-7467 ext. 241, or visit the AMI Web site at www.amionline.org.

Third Time’s the Charm: Maiwald and Parsnow Bring Home the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy

The final round of the 2006 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown – held on May 23, at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC – will go down as one of the most exciting and closest competitions in Showdown history, according to Clevite.

In front of more than 1,500 fans, Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Motorsports made their third straight final round appearance and built against first-time Showdown participants Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman of Pro Motor Engineering.

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Both teams stayed neck and neck throughout the entire build, working in perfect sync.

Borem and Hoffman fired their engine two seconds ahead of Maiwald and Parsnow, but it cut out after running just a few seconds. Borem and Hoffman fired their engine again. but it was too late. When the noise stopped, Maiwald and Parsnow finally captured the prize that had eluded them the past two years – the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.

Maiwald and Parsnow posted a phenomenal build time of 16 minutes, 54 seconds (a new engine build record), with Borem and Hoffman of Pro Motor Engineering posting an equally impressive time of 16 minutes, 59 seconds. The competing engine builders assembled 357 cubic inch Ford engines – similar in design to those used by NASCAR’s Ford race teams.

“The energy and excitement at every stage of this year’s competition was the highest we’ve ever seen,” said Ted Hughes, light vehicle brand manger for Clevite Engine Parts. “The Showdown engine build record was broken in each of the last three rounds and two teams that never competed in the Showdown made it to the semi-finals; and one of them – Pro Motor Engineering – advanced to the final round.”

Maiwald added that his team’s sole motivation was to take home the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. “This was for all of the guys in our engine shop,” said Maiwald. “We felt like we let our team down the past two years, so this is really special for all of us.”

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Borem and Hoffman received a cash award of $5,000 along with runner-up trophies. Maiwald and Parsnow received a cash award of $20,000 and the title of 2006 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown Champion. Maiwald and Parsnow will also take their rightful place alongside past Showdown Champions on the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.

Check local listings later this year for news on when the Showdown will air on a television station near you.

2006 Medium and Heavy Duty Aftermarket Profile

The U.S. medium- and heavy-duty aftermarket reached $70.6 billion in 2005, a more than six percent increase from 2004. In addition, medium- and heavy-duty truck aftermarket sales are forecast to continue growing in 2006, reaching $73.9 billion. An in-depth look at these types of trends can be found in the recently released 2006 Medium and Heavy Duty Aftermarket Profile, published by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

This study contains the most up-to-date data and trends pertaining to the medium- and heavy-duty truck aftermarket in the United States. The report combines the latest available industry data from many sources including original AAIA research, government and independent research supplier databases. The profile contains a wide variety of information, both for those looking for an introduction to the medium and heavy duty aftermarket as well as for those with a developed understanding of the industry who may be interested in more detailed statistics and analysis.

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Last published in 2000, the comprehensive 2006 Medium and Heavy Duty Aftermarket Profile includes charts, tables and analysis on industry topics including: Truck and Trailer; Aftermarket Parts Consumption; Retail Sales of Trucks; Truck Registrations by State; Truck Maintenance Data; Equipment Used on Trucks and others.

The price of the 2006 Medium and Heavy Duty Aftermarket Profile is $125 for AAIA members and $225 for non-members. For more information or to order a copy of this report, please contact AAIA at 301-654-6664 or visit www.aftermarket.org.

Federal-Mogul Acquires Majority Stake in its Goetze (India) Joint Venture

Federal-Mogul has acquired the majority stake in its long-standing joint venture, Goetze (India) Limited (GIL), a publicly traded supplier of automotive pistons, rings, liners, pins and sintered products. The transaction, which increases Federal-Mogul’s share in GIL to 50.1 percent, supports the company’s growth strategy by expanding its presence in India, a key market for its global automotive products and aftermarket business.

“Federal-Mogul’s increased investment in GIL is a key part of our strategy to drive global profitable growth by providing our leading technology, and world-class quality products and services in India, one of the most dynamic and growing economies of the world,” said Federal-Mogul chairman, president and chief executive officer Jose Maria Alapont. “Developing best-cost capabilities and increasing our manufacturing footprint in India will enable us to better serve both new and existing customers in domestic and global markets.”

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Headquartered in New Delhi, Federal-Mogul’s GIL business has three operations in India – located in Patiala, Bangalore and Bhiwadi – with nearly 5,000 employees. The Indian market leader in pistons and piston rings, GIL supplies all major Indian original equipment manufacturers in the automotive, heavy-duty, motorcycle, industrial and agricultural markets, in addition to a variety of aftermarket customers. GIL’s 2005 net sales exceeded more than $96.8 million.

In other Federal-Mogul news, the company recently announced that its McCord Leakless Sealing Company (MLS), a 50/50 joint venture with Nippon Leakless Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, received two achievement awards from Honda of America Manufacturing. The awards were for Productivity Improvement and Quality Performance.

The Productivity Improvement Award recognized achievements in efficiency in support of Honda production. The Quality Performance Award acknowledged MLS for providing exceptional quality products in 2005.

Plant Manager Toshio Horiuchi and Materials Manager Yuke Ito accepted the awards from Takashi Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, at the Honda North American Supplier Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

“This is the second consecutive year we have received a dual award,” said Horiuchi. “I am very proud of our employees and the efforts they have made to continuously add value and improve the business for our customers.”

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Continuing the award honors, Federal-Mogul was also named General Motors Global Supplier of the Year for its overall business performance in providing GM with world-class powertrain products and technology. The award was given during ceremonies held April 29, at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.

“Being honored with a GM Global Supplier of the Year Award demonstrates Federal-Mogul’s continued commitment to create value for our customers through quality excellence in products and services as well as innovative technology at competitive costs,” said Jose Maria Alapont, chairman, president and CEO, Federal-Mogul. “We are proud to be recognized as one of GM’s top suppliers and look forward to supporting its future success.”

“We consider Federal-Mogul to be a role model for all suppliers. They are recognized as a GM Global Supplier of the Year because they exceeded our expectations in 2005,” said Bo Andersson, GM vice president of global purchasing and supply chain. “Federal-Mogul is one of the best in the world and we thank them for their hard work and commitment to helping make GM vehicles the best in the world.”

The GM Global Supplier of the Year Award began in 1992. Winners are selected by a team of executives from purchasing, engineering, manufacturing and logistics who base their decisions on supplier performance in quality, service, technology and price.

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For more information on Federal-Mogul, visit the company’s Web site at www.federal-mogul.com.

Truck, Engine Makers Say Fuel Economy Won’t Drop in ’07

Next year’s lower-emission truck engines should prove to be as reliable and as fuel efficient as current models, avoiding the problems carriers faced in the last round of emissions cuts, truck and engine builders said in a recent Transport Topics report. According to the report, manufacturers said that despite government standards that force them to add or tighten pollution-control equipment, the new engines themselves are actually more economical, offsetting the reduced power yield of ultra-low-sulfur diesel that the new engines need. Referring to the fuel-economy drop of about 5 percent for engines built to meet emissions rules in force after October 2002, the head of the biggest U.S. truck maker said, “This time, we’ve achieved about the same level” of fuel efficiency as “we did with the 2004 models.”

Cummins Reports Higher 1Q Earnings, Raises Guidance

Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. reported it earned $135 million or $2.70 a share for its first-quarter ended April 2, up from $97 million or $1.96 a year earlier. Sales rose to $2.68 billion from $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier, the company reported. Cummins also boosted its full-year earnings guidance to $124.40 and $12.60 a share, from its earlier $11.90 to $12.10 forecast. Engine sales rose 23 percent to $1.82 billion. Global heavy-duty truck shipments rose 22 percent for the quarter, the company said.

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10% Ethanol Blend Allowed In IMCA Hobby Stock Division

Drivers in IMCA’s Hobby Stock division can now compete with 10 percent ethanol blended gasoline.
“This class is designed for our most budget minded members, so it makes sense to allow them to use what is usually the least expensive fuel,” explained IMCA Vice President of Operations Brett Root. “Using gas with 10 percent ethanol does not provide any advantage in performance so that will not be a new issue.”

While the rule change does not extend to any other sanctioned class, the subject of race fuel has been discussed more often as prices have climbed during the season.

“We are getting continued requests from Modified drivers to run E85,” Root said. “We will continue to look at ways to provide cost effective options to our members, whether it’s 10 percent ethanol, E85 or 100 percent ethanol. All those are types of fuel we’re looking at incorporating in the future, as long as they are less expensive and do not change on track performance.”

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