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Machining Solutions For Compacted Graphite Iron

During the last couple of AERA Shows, a seminar on machining a relatively unknown material called Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) has drawn an interested and growing crowd. The first year’s seminar was the first many had heard about this material and some may have left wondering if this material was headed to their shops any

Final Wrap: Crystal Balls, Darts And Other Ways Not To Set Rates

I never jumped off a bridge when I was a kid. None of my friends did, either, come to think of it, but that never stopped my dear mother from cautioning me against it. I’m sure your mother said basically the same thing. No matter what you wanted to do because someone else told you

Shop Line

We’ve experienced broken head bolts on some late model GM engines. Any solutions? The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information on a recently available bolt extractor kit for 2002-2006 GM 2.8, 3.5 and 4.2L VIN 8, 6 and S engines. This L-style engine family features an aluminum block and cylinder head. It has been

Tech Notes

Engine Builders: Synthetic oils have been available for almost 30 years and a number of inaccurate myths have developed during this time. Some areas of misunderstanding are clarified below, including manufacturer requirements for using synthetics, how to switch from conventional to synthetic oil and the effects of synthetics on an engine. Myth 1: Synthetic oils

High Performance Rocker Arms, Valve Springs, Retainers and Locks

On a small block Chevy, altering the rocker arm geometry without changing the rocker arm lift ratio can add 15 to 20 horsepower at the rear wheels. The stock lift ratio for a small block (SB) Chevy V8 rocker arm is 1.5:1, and for a big block (BB) Chevy V8, the ratio is 1.7:1. Bolt-on

Crack Detection

Take a look in the mirror. Smiling back at you, you’ll notice that row of pearly whites. They probably look pretty good. Maybe a bit stained from coffee or smoking, but overall, they seem to be pretty solid, right? If you’re like many people, the fear sets in as soon as you sit down in

Shop Line

The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding cylinder block deck cracks on Caterpillar 3208 engines. This information provided by Caterpillar gives the correct procedures to visually inspect a cylinder block for cracks between the water port and the cylinder head bolt hole. A 3208 engine cylinder block that meets the inspection guidelines can

Tech Notes

Engine Builders: As engine technology advances to produce more efficient engines, motor oil must continue to meet the increasing demands for lubricating these precision-made engines. Development of the next specification of gasoline-fuel (GF) motor oil began only months after the latest specification, GF-4, became available in 2004. The GF-5 motor oil specification created by the

Performance Notes: Stud Vs. Shaft Rockers: Why You Should Make the Switch

When the Chevrolet small-block V8 was introduced in 1955, one of its most highly touted features was its lightweight, high-revving ball and stud stamped steel rocker design. Around 1962, several of my buddies proved that claim to be true, time and again, when they twisted their Duntov-cammed 283s to 7,200 rpm. In fact, this same

Machine Maintenance, The Art – And Business – Of Relationship Maintenance

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a few articles on how to maintain your shop machinery, but now it’s time to talk about how to maintain something even more important: your relationships with your customers. Let’s face it…without customers we are out of business. You’ve probably heard the old saying, “all machine shops

Fast Lane: A Web Site Can Add To Your Business Bottom Line

Hopefully everyone out there is familiar with the Internet. While there are some things about the Internet that most of us would rather not deal with, the value it has provided far outweighs any bad. A Web site is also the most cost-effective advertising you can do. As a journalist, the Internet is the first

Performance Drag Racing Heads

A quarter-mile strip of asphalt is not a great distance. But drag racing isn’t about distance. It’s about time. The car that reaches the finish line first wins the race. But the car that wins isn’t always the fastest car or the quickest car. It’s usually the car that runs with the most consistent elapsed

Grow Your Shop By Getting Away From It

He appreciates the fact his employees feel the same way and, frankly, he feels this industry would be a whole lot better off if more shop owners followed his lead. Okay, so the guy is obviously crazy or from out of this world, right? Take time off from the shop when it’s a struggle to

How To Eat an Elephant

Over the past 13 years, readers of this magazine have come to expect creativity, innovation and a healthy “gee whiz” factor from the annual Machine Shop of the Year Award winners. From technical expertise to absolute professionalism, the winners of this prestigious award have been great representatives of this industry. New last year at MMM&P

Tech Notes

Engine Builders: After 75,000 miles, your customers’ engines can begin to show their age. They may consume a bit more oil or oil could leak past intake valve stem seals. Higher Mileage specialty motor oils typically contain additives that condition the rubber seals to help reduce oil consumption. They can also have high quality base

Shop Line

Q: I’ve had difficulty getting the main bearing clearances correct on some Ford 2.5L engines. Do you know of any updates? A: The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding the main bearing bore for 1993-2002 Ford 2.5L VIN B and KL engines. This engine is made by Mazda and has been used in

Vizard’s View: Avoiding Flat Tappet Cam And Lifter Failure

There is nothing worse than building a cost effective engine for a customer, shipping it, and then having it come back a short while later with the installed flat tappet cam wiped out. Even if the cam and valve train was warranted by the cam manufacture, you, as the engine builder, will bear the brunt

Shop Line

Q: I have experienced problems with blowing oil filter seals off some 4.2L Ford engines. Any solutions? A: The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding high oil pressure on 1997-2004 Ford 4.2L VIN 2 engines. This condition occurs immediately after engine front cover/oil pump replacement. In some instances, this higher than normal pressure

Line Boring Equipment: A Boring Subject?

But as the British philosopher Bertrand Russell noted, "Change is one thing; progress is another." While some might say the basic techniques for line boring main and cam bearing bores in engine blocks hasn’t changed much in 30 years others say that isn’t such a bad thing. A horizontal boring bar with cutters mounted on

Tech Notes

Engine Builders: The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding additional crankshaft bearing undersizes for 1967-2005 GM Chevrolet V8 engines. This information refers to Chevrolet engines that are also designated as “Big Block” and “Small Block” engines. To allow engine builders increased flexibility to select fit engine bearings for desired oil clearance during assembly,