Once you’ve taken the time to wrap your brain around the terms “Fairmont” and “Hot Rod” in the same headline, you should read a little further. You’ll discover this story is not about a Ford Fairmont sedan, but rather a Fairmont Railroad Motorcar – the one built in Fairmont, MN.
Building engines for a living means building whatever a customer wants. With a growing market for alternative fuels you might find yourself building an engine for a customer who wants his engine to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or propane (liquefied petroleum gas or LP).
Whether it’s more horsepower, better throttle response, or better durability, everybody is looking for an edge when it comes to building a performance engine. Any of these can win races. So what kinds of tricks are winning engine builders using to get an edge over their competitors? Many are using highly specialized coatings.
To be successful in the performance market, you need to deliver a product or service that a competitor not only needs, but will help make him a winner. To find that product or service, you need to spend time with them to understand the needs of the racers.
Cleaning is a time consuming, expensive process for most rebuilders. According to Engine Builder’s most recent Machine Shop Market Profile, rebuilders say they spend more than 15 percent of their total production time in cleaning. Safer, less toxic methods continue to gain a foothold in today’s professional shops.
You know how it feels when you explain something over and over and the person just doesn’t seem to get it? Some seven years ago I broke into the pages of Engine Builder with an article about dealing with what I called walk-in parts. Off and on again I’ve gotten back on that bandwagon because the topic just keeps getting more and more relevant.
For several years now, clean air and better fuel economy have been the primary focus of the transportation industry. Back in the 1970s, the clean air agenda came into full swing and it literally crippled performance as well as reliability. At that time, the diesel industry wasn’t being regulated by any of these emissions standards, but changes were on the horizon.
Hydraulic valve lifters are probably the most precision-machined part inside any engine. It does not take much to cause one to operate incorrectly. Here are some tips for fixing this problem, as well as some other helpful solutions to commonly seen shop scenarios.