Machine Maintenance - Engine Builder Magazine

Machine Maintenance

We all know this is a tough business. Competition is more aggressive than ever and comes from all directions.

Engines last longer than ever, it’s tougher to make a buck, you’ve got to work like a dog to make ends meet. So why in the world would anyone EVER want to be an engine builder?
Well, as the man said, if you have to ask, you won’t understand. Sometimes, you just can’t explain WHY you’re an engine builder – you just know THAT you’re one, and it doesn’t end when you leave the shop at night.

With thanks to comedian Jeff Foxworthy, here are some ways to tell if, in fact, YOU are an engine builder:

You just might be an engine builder…

  • If you stir your coffee with a pushrod.

  • If you smile when driving by a broken down vehicle.

  • If you open your beer with a 9/16? wrench.

  • If you spend all day watching NASCAR but have trouble watching the kids for 10 minutes.

  • If you like the smell of burnt oil.

  • If you think a pile of engine cores is a thing of beauty.

  • If you get upset at the Discovery Channel for airing a program about early man’s inventions and not mentioning the automobile.

  • If you are going on a Caribbean cruise just to get a look at the engine room on the ship.

  • If you go to trade show to actually attend the trade show.

  • If you really don’t care what anybody drives as long as the engine blows up.

  • If you ever thought that your lawnmower could use more horsepower.

  • If you’ve ever been to an awards banquet and are the only one with grease still under his fingernails.

  • If you actually read the tech articles that are sent to you.

  • If you call your buddy from a race and hold up your cell phone so he can hear the roar of the engines.

  • If you know the difference between liters and cubic inches.

  • If you ever thought about putting an engine on your son’s Pinewood Derby car for Cub Scouts.

  • If you have the ability to convert mm to inches in your head.

  • If you have a mini piston and connecting rod key chain.

  • If you ever heated up your lunch on your connecting rod heater.

  • If you always thought piston ashtrays were really cool and you don’t even smoke.

  • You agree that alcohol and driving don’t mix, but alcohol mixed with horsepower is pretty darned good.

  • If all of your hats have an automotive aftermarket company logo on them.

  • If you see a gorgeous blond with a broken-down vehicle along the side of the road, and you stop – not to get a better look at her, but to hopefully get the engine job.

  • If you go antiquing with your wife in hopes of finding a pre-1940 flathead engine.

  • If you are sitting at a stoplight and there is smoke coming from the tailpipe of the car is front of you, and you grin.

  • If you know the difference between piston slap and valve slap.

  • If you think a paper towel holder made from high performance connecting rods is something you just can’t live without.

  • If you use engine parts as paperweights.

  • If you ever stared at a stainless steel sink and wonder what grit of stone they used to make is that shiny.

  • If you are on your honeymoon and spend time checking out a grape-picking machine to find out what kind of engine it has…instead of spending time checking out your new wife.

  • If you use your new parts washing brush as a turkey baster during the holidays.

  • When it comes to alcohol, you consider the phrase “burn the best and drink the rest” to be law.

  • If half your fingerprints are missing and you are not on the FBI’s most wanted list – you just touched a set of hot headers.

  • If you are missing your eyebrows and eye lashes from backfires due to initial start ups.

  • Someone buys you a case of synthetic oil as a present and there is a tear in your eye.

  • Your wife says your love life is getting dull…and all you can think of is a sharpening fixture.

  • You think that using nitrous for dental work is waste of natural resources.

  • You believe Hybrids are a plot against humanity.

  • You hook your sonic toothbrush to 220 volts ’cause it needs more RPM.

  • If a romantic dinner to you is you and the wife sitting in your hotrod at the rootbeer stand

  • If you have one car that is only driven on sunny days with no chance of rain.

  • If you call tech writers on the carpet everty time they give the wrong answer to a question.

  • If you think Flint, MI, would be a great place to spend your honeymoon.

  • If you compare your bodily ailments to engine failure while at the doctor’s office.

  • If the most important detail about your funereal arrangements is the type of engine in the hearse.

How many of these apply to you? Isn’t it comforting to know that you’re not alone! If you have any others, send them to me and maybe we’ll include them in a future update. Hope you enjoyed a laugh.

See you in the shop!

You May Also Like

Open Loop/Closed Loop and Learning

Closed-loop control can be programmed to either add or subtract up to a certain percentage of fuel in order for the engine to reach the target air/fuel ratio.

Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) is all the rage today and rightfully so. EFI has many advantages that allow us to dial in the fuel in a dramatically more precise fashion than was ever possible with a carburetor. One of the tools at our disposal is the closed loop algorithm where the target air/fuel ratio commanded in the ECU is compared to the actual air/fuel ratio read by the O2 sensor. If the two do not match, the ECU makes small changes by either adding or subtracting from the commanded fuel in the fuel table to equalize the two. 

Top 10 Ken Block Gymkhana Films

Who doesn’t like a little bit of burnt rubber?

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | H&H Flatheads

Despite not being a fancy, state-of-the-art set up, Mike and his team at H&H have a great thing going. The equipment does exactly what it needs to, his team is experienced and the shop has built thousands of vintage engines for customers everywhere!

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | Choate Engineering Performance

This shop’s dedication to quality engine work, its growth, its machining capabilities and its impact in the diesel industry, all make Choate Engineering Performance well deserving of Engine Builder’s and Autolite’s 2022 America’s Best Diesel Engine Shop award.

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | 4 Piston Racing

The 4 Piston Racing facility in Danville, IN houses two buildings – one is 12,000 sq.-ft. and the other is 2,500 sq.-ft. The shop is very heavily focused on Honda cylinder heads and engine work to the tune of 300+ engines and 1,000 cylinder heads annually!

Other Posts

Randy Bauer Shares His Experience as PERA President

We recently spoke to Randy about his PERA presidency and what some of the biggest hurdles are facing the engine remanufacturing industry right now.

Women in Motorsports: Mattie Graves

Mattie Graves competes in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series (ODSS) dragster class, and is the only female doing so in a class that already has very few competitors in general. Find out more about this up and coming diesel drag racing star.

Women in Motorsports: Johnna Dunn

She got her drag racing license before she got her regular license, and that tells you everything you need to know about Johnna Dunn. She’s a drag racer and clutch specialist for her grandfather’s NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car team, Jim Dunn Racing.

Women in Motorsports: Kayla Blood

A veteran of the military, a former track star, an MMA fighter, Motocross and ATV racer, and now a Monster Jam driver, Kayla Blood has packed a lot into her still growing career. Now the driver of Soldier Fortune, she strives to make a name for herself and for other women looking to make motorsports a career.