Speaking from personal experience, after 37 years of measuring, engine dyno measuring, chassis dyno measuring and flow bench measuring are all fine and well as we use them as measuring tools. But what I think of as the big darn deal in measuring is cylinder finish.
As we move through our 51st year of covering this industry, the staff of Engine Builder recognizes that old adage – the more things change, the more they stay the same. What’s changed about this industry is, well, pretty much everything. What’s stayed the same is the dedication and hardwork of the professionals who keep engines running and customers happy.
Not every engine shop has one, but every engine shop could benefit from installing one. Sure, it can be expensive, it is loud, but engine shops with these in-house offer an extra source of income and the ability to test engines and parts. I’m talking about a dynamometer.
For those unfamiliar with marine engines, there is a common misconception that these are highly unique devices. This simply isn’t the case. If you can rebuild an automobile engine, you can rebuild a marine engine. If you can build a solid, reliable drag or circle track engine, you can build, or rebuild, a marine performance engine. The key to success is understanding the subtle differences and being able to recognize the pitfalls.
Any engine builder worth his or her torque wrench keeps their eyes open. They’re looking for anything and everything to make work easier, better and, of course, more profitable. When it comes to the number of cylinders in the motors they build, are they looking at performance-dedicated six and four cylinder engines as a viable source of income?
One of many highlights in the Ford booth at the 107th Chicago Auto Show was a large layout of the pieces that make up the first-ever Ford three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This 1.0 liter turbocharged, direct-injection powerplant delivers 123 hp and 125 lb.-ft. of torque.
The V8 isn’t dead yet, but storm clouds are brewing on the horizon. Concerns over global warming, CO2 emissions and dependence on foreign oil led the EPA to mandate new Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules. To achieve 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, automakers may abandon the V8 altogether or restricting it to a handful of limited production applications.
Choosing a replacement oil pump for an engine you are building or modifying is a process that requires some thought. Original equipment oil pumps are usually adequate for most stock applications – but some are not, especially if an engine is being modified.
No, this isn’t an adventure story about great works of art or even our national monuments – it’s even more dramatic. I’m referring to the GREAT ones: the machinists we all know who have been around far longer than these fancy new CNC machines. I’m talking about the true craftsmen that built this industry long before many of you were born.
I recycle the thick plastic trays used to store and ship 1-liter soda bottles. They work really well for keeping piston and rod assemblies in order and protected from damage as you move them about the shop.