Industry Changes - Engine Builder Magazine

Industry Changes

It’s obvious that today’s engines are made up of a lot of moving parts, and those parts have changed along with the numerous changes in the industry over the years. What our advertisers have seen change the most over the years has been related to engine size, increased foreign competition, issues with getting younger people involved in the industry, and engines lasting much longer.

“Over the past few decades, we’ve seen engine downsizing, onboard diagnostics and brain boxes, turbo boosting, advanced combustion, and advanced valve timing,” Newman says.

One of the biggest changes in the industry is the fact that engines last upwards of 250,000 miles today versus perhaps 50,000 miles within recent memory, resulting in fewer engines in need of rebuilding.

“This shrinking market has rewarded those shops who are able to provide fast turnaround, precision work and reduce human error, all which can be aided with modern equipment,” Davis says. “The biggest expense is still labor, and a shrinking pool of skilled machinists makes it even more important that equipment be easy to set up and operate on a consistent basis so today’s tight tolerances can be met.”

EPWI agrees that today’s engines have forced the industry to change.

“There are generally fewer rebuild opportunities and fewer components in an engine to replace that’s offset somewhat by a continually growing vehicle population,” Dodge says. “The industry has seen rapidly changing engine technology and more advanced and sophisticated systems, shorter engine production runs and greater engine variety, and fewer production engine rebuilders and machine shop/engine builders. The survivors are well run, creative and technically competent machine shops/engine builders who have adapted to a changing marketplace and technologies.”

Both Engine Quest and Elgin echo the fact that people are the ones that keep the industry moving forward.

“The challenge for all business today is people,” Stolberg says. “Ours is not the kind of industry people grow up aspiring to be in. But if you work in it, you can find it very rewarding.”

“To us, this remains a people business and we work very hard to exceed the expectations of all our customers, from custom engine rebuilders to much larger global companies,” Simko says. “Some manufacturers – having been acquired and consolidated with other organizations – have lost sight of the people side of this business, but we never have.”

Aside from technology and people, the economy has also played a major role in how this industry has changed.

“Many of the industry’s key players have returned to their basic root products to reduce overhead and eliminate slow moving inventory due to the slow economy,” Meyer says. “Smaller shops with one to three employees without a niche market, or those that can’t afford to invest in advanced technology, struggle to remain profitable. Prices on shop labor, machinery, tooling, and supplies will continue to rise because of reduced sales volume and inventories causing special order situations for once normal stocked items.”

Speaking of once normally stocked items, Packard Industries has seen an increased number of discontinued products that rebuilders today are looking for.

“We are constantly looking at whether to reproduce certain parts,” From says. “There is not an everlasting supply. We have to stay on our toes and keep our ear to the ground to the ever-changing trends in the industry. One minute early V8 (331 and 365) Cadillacs are hot, then the next minute it is early HEMIs.”

Egge Machine has also seen how trends can change among rebuilders.

“For years engine swaps in older vehicles have not been uncommon,” Silver says. “An early favorite replacement engine was the Chevy 327, then hobbyists began adopting the Chevy 350, and now it’s the General Motors LS engine. The affordability and availability of the LS engine has brought major changes to how our market looks at repowering older vehicles. LS swaps have become very popular and have eroded a large piece of the domestic restoration market.”

You May Also Like

Toyota’s New NASCAR Cup Series Camry XSE

Toyota has revealed its new NASCAR Cup Series Camry XSE race car that will debut during the 2024 season. The Camry XSE follows the Toyota Camry TRD Next Gen, which won 18 races and 25 poles during the last two seasons. Designed as a collaboration between Toyota, Toyota Racing Development and Calty Design, the body

Toyota has revealed its new NASCAR Cup Series Camry XSE race car that will debut during the 2024 season. The Camry XSE follows the Toyota Camry TRD Next Gen, which won 18 races and 25 poles during the last two seasons.

Designed as a collaboration between Toyota, Toyota Racing Development and Calty Design, the body styling characteristics were crafted to replicate the 2025 Toyota Camry XSE as closely as possible, according to Toyota.

Two Late Model Series to Merge

The American Late Model Series has merged with the Iron-Man Late Model Series and will rebrand as the Valvoline American Late Model Iron-Man Series. Related Articles – NASCAR Rebrands Canadian Series – New Venues Added for 2024 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series – Speedway Motorsports Names Graham Smith VP of OEM Partnerships The series will compete

NASCAR Rebrands Canadian Series

NASCAR’s Canadian stock car series, currently known as NASCAR Pinty’s Series, will be known as the NASCAR Canada Series beginning in 2024. Evirum and Pinty’s will serve as presenting partners for the series.  Related Articles – Record Number of Manufacturers for 2024 WEC Entry List – Motor State Distributing Adds Monit Motorsports to its Offerings – Calico

New Venues Added for 2024 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series

The Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series has released its 30-race schedule for the 2024 season. During 2024, the series will visit 22 different tracks, including nine new venues, and will see the return of Appalachian Midget Week, a four-race stint in Pennsylvania. Related Articles – NASCAR’s 2024 Drive for Diversity Driver Development Class – World of

Speedway Motorsports Names Graham Smith VP of OEM Partnerships

Speedway Motorsports has named Graham Smith, formerly the vice president of Business Operations for U.S. Legend Cars International, as vice president of OEM Partnerships. In the new role, Smith will be responsible for strengthening company relationships, cultivating partnerships and establishing new corporate events with OEMs. Related Articles – Day Motor Sports Acquired – Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson

Other Posts

Borowski Race Engines to Exhibit at 2023 PRI Show

Founded in 1968, Borowski Race Engines, Inc. is a world-recognized leader in the high-end of the LS engine market and has been expanding its scope into other popular American V8s. The shop is thrilled to have two awesome cars and a full lineup of Facebook Live speakers at its booth #409 for PRI 2023. Related

GM Registers as a Formula 1 Power Unit Manufacturer

General Motors announced it has formally registered with the FIA as a Formula 1 power unit manufacturer starting in the 2028 season. Related Articles – Hot Shot’s Secret Wins AAPEX Packaging Award for Innovation – ARP Named HRIA Business of the Year – NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series 2023 Schedule “We are thrilled that

SCCA Hall of Fame 2024 Class Announced

The Sports Car Club of America just announced their SCCA Hall of Fame Class of 2024, with five members getting the nod. Anatoly Arutunoff, Bruce Foss, Victoria “Vicki” O’Connor, Terry Ozment, and Fred Wacker Jr. will make up the 2024 class, joining just over 100 others who have been presented with the honor since the

Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet’s High Limit Racing Partners With FloRacing

High Limit Racing, founded and owned by NASCAR champion Kyle Larson and five-time World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet, is expanding in 2024. The formerly named High Limit Sprint Car Series is adding events and increasing driver payouts while broadening its partnership with FloSports. The midweek race series will evolve into a 50-plus race night