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Media Frenzy — How Shot Blasting Gets Done

Opinions on which type of blast medium works best for cleaning automotive parts vary among engine builders about as much as the types of media themselves. One rebuilder may say he never uses a particular type of media to blast clean his parts, while another swears by it. Expand that out to the entire rebuilding

Engine Cylinder Bore Surface Finishes

What’s the best type of cylinder bore finish for today’s engines? Most would say it’s a finish that allows the rings to seat quickly and completely so the engine doesn’t use oil. For many applications, that may mean a plateau finish. The surface finish must also meet the piston ring manufacturer’s specifications and have the

Heads Up: Rebuilding Aluminum Cylinder Heads

In our last article (Automotive Rebuilder, July, 1999 issue page 54) we discussed how to check valve stem to guide clearances and the methods used to replace valve guides and seats. Camshaft clearances and techniques used to bring clearances to within specification were also covered. In this article we will cover the final assembly of

1999 Machine Shop Of The Year Award Winner: Metric Automotive Engineering Ltd

Each year, the staff at Automotive Rebuilder magazine recognizes one machine shop that displays business practices that go above and beyond the norm. This year, along with input from the Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA), we have selected Metric Automotive Engineering (Pty) Ltd., from Germiston South, Republic of South Africa. Metric was chosen from numerous entries

Bio-Remediation-Managing Munching Microbes

The practice of using microbes to break down and clean up hazardous and unwanted chemicals has been used for many years. However, most people were first introduced to the practice of using oil digesting microorganisms in 1989, when television news broadcasts showed microbes being used in the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez spill, which deposited

The Fit Is In The Finish

Clean, flat and smooth. These three words describe the surface in an engine, not just the head and block. But how clean, how flat and how smooth do the surfaces really have to be to get a good, long lasting seal? It depends on the application. Clean means no dirt, oil, grease or residual gasket

1998 Market Update – CV Shafts

One of the biggest issues still facing rebuilders is the controversyover the pros and cons of grinding CV joints. Though many CV unitrebuilders will tell you it’s getting harder to remain competitiveunless you grind, nobody grinds unnecessarily in this tight marketbecause of the costs of machine work and labor. Craig Russell of Drive Plus, Inc.,

Machine Shop Market Profile Part II

In Part I of our annual review of the machine shop market, whichappeared in our July 1998 issue, we provided average productionnumbers in 1997 for cylinder heads, engine blocks and crankshaftsreported by machine shops. According to our survey respondents,custom engine rebuilders/machine shops averaged 18.29 gas anddiesel engines rebuilt monthly during production year 1997, virtuallyunchanged from

Machine Shop Market Profile

Interviews conducted with parts and equipmentsuppliers, as well as machine shop owners and custom engine rebuilders,generally point to market demand which has remained flat whenengine production numbers are compared to year earlier figures.Recent survey results of machine shops concerning production year1997 confirm these assumptions. Automotive Rebuilder magazine conducted a surveyof the machine shop membership of

Ideal Supply – “Farming” For Opportunities

As the winner of our fifth annual "MachineShop of the Year" award contest, Ideal Supply Co., Listowel,Ontario, can claim a number of "firsts." It is the firstCanadian recipient of our award and, to our knowledge, it is alsothe first machine shop which has obtained ISO (International StandardsOrganization) 9002 certification. About two hours due east of

“Heading” In The Right Direction: Heads Are A Hot Commodity These Days

Heads are a hot commodity these days, but itdepends on the application. Some heads like those for Chevy 350and Chrysler 2.2L/2.5L engines are always in demand, but pricesare low because of the glut of cores that are available for theseengines. Even so, anybody who’s selling heads these days has tohave them. The hot heads are

Low Cost Quality Honing For The Small Shop

My son and I run a small automotive machineshop doing engine rebuilding and custom machine work in ruralMissouri. We try to do the very best work possible all the time.Whether we are rebuilding a Ford 8N or a 427 Corvette engine,we use the same amount of care doing the job. When our customerspick up their

Labor and the Law

Grit, grime and grease are just a few of theworkplace unpleasantness with which you contend. Employees areexposed daily to hazardous materials such as solvents, paints,cleaning and restoration products, as well as welding fumes. Protecting your employees’ health and safetyis not only the right thing to do, the law requires it. Your failureto be familiar with

Cylinder Bore Honing: Main Objective When Refinishing The Cylinders

When an engine is rebuilt, the cylinders usuallyneed attention. Wear tends to create taper in the upper part ofthe cylinder that can reduce ring sealing and increase blowbyand oil consumption if not removed. The cylinder may also be outof round, scored or have other damage that requires correctingbefore a new set of rings will seal

Mopar Engine Platforms – 318, 360

  Chrysler Corp. hasn’t built a rear wheel drive, V8-powered car (with the exception of the Viper) since the turn of the decade. And the cars that harbored V8s beneath their hoods during the late 1980s were about as appealing to performance enthusiasts as the front-wheel driven vehicles that replaced them. In spite of that

Why Parts Get Coated

I never would have believed you could get those kind of resultsfrom a glorified paint job. With those words, another skeptic(in this case, a NASCAR Winston Cup engine builder) had come toaccept the value of special coatings applied to engine components. At the time, such skepticism was not totally unwarranted. Likeany emerging technology, the coating

1997 Shop Kinks

Machine shops and custom engine rebuilders are, and always havebeen, a resourceful group. Our industry was founded on the principalof bringing component parts from a condition of disrepair to onethat offers equivalent performance to that of a new part. Rebuilt engines offer cost savings and performance benefits thatcan not be found with any other products,

Power Steering Pumps and Gearboxes

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplacethe quest for additional profits is of paramount importance notonly for continued growth and success, but for the survival ofthe company itself. This is particularly true for undercarriagespecialists such as CV axle and rack-and-pinion rebuilders. Niche market diversification can accomplisheconomic and strategic objectives that will not only improve the"profitable" cash flow

Piston Rings and Surface Finish

Horsepower is always paramount in the minds of customers who salivatelike a Pavlovian dog when the terms "high performance"and "engine" are used in the same sentence. Unquestionably,horsepower is heady stuff, capable of not only moving a vehicleto obscene speeds, but also of propelling its owner to a positionof prominence in the eyes of performance enthusiasts


So it’s important to remember when deciding on a specific approachto cleaning to strive for cleaning effectiveness, while at thesame time, staying in compliance with Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) regulations. In order for a machine shop to have a positive returnon investment, cleaning systems and procedures must be cost-efficient.It’s been