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I replaced a ’97 Ford 302 with a 351 Windsor, but the thrust bearing failed after only 200 miles. What gives?

A. We have all seen the thrust bearing failures in the Ford 302/5.0L engine applications. Many if not most of them have occurred due to the insufficient depth of the pilot hole for the torque converter in the rear of the crankshaft when used in conjunction with an overdrive transmission, and in particular with the

Washington Way

Finding and retaining good service technicians and other employees has become an increasing problem in the parts and service aftermarket. There just aren’t enough competent individuals available and the cost of salary and benefits for all employees keeps increasing. Small firms, in particular, may have problems because of the ever-increasing costs of competitive salaries and

Valves, Retainers & Springs

New materials, improved designs and lower prices (at least for some valves). That pretty much sums up what’s going on with valves, retainers and springs today. These are extremely important parts in every engine because of their impact on engine performance, durability and cost. Satisfying demand is the key. Rick Simko of Elgin Industries, Elgin,

Guide and Seat Equipment

Cylinder head work has been and should continue to be a profit center for engine builders. Heads almost always require guide and seat work to restore compression and oil control. This includes drilling, reaming and replacing valve guides, removing worn, loose or damaged valve seats, cutting new seat counterbores, and machining valve seats. For performance

Bad For The Auto Industry, Good For Rebuilding

The headline in the Dallas Morning News caught my eye: “New Car Customers With Negative Equity Are Growing Problem For Auto Industry.” The words “negative” and “problem” are well-recognized around this segment of the “auto industry” so, of course, I read on to see how this story would impact the Engine Builder reader. To my

I’m looking for an oversize O.D. cam bearing for a Cummins L10. Is there anything available?

It has recently been announced that there are oversize outside diameter cam bearings available for 1985-2003 Cummins L10 & M11 engines. This new bearing will allow a single repair operation to many engine blocks, which will put many unserviceable engine blocks back into service. These engines have been prone to engine failure related to cam

PERA’s Core Corner

In this month’s “Core Corner” I am addressing a potpourri of different issues – some old, some new, but all of them offer something that will keep you out of the “Do Over” column and, of course, profitable. I got the idea from my wife some weeks ago while accompanying her (being dragged) to a

Crankshafts and Bearings – Keeping the Relationship Strong

Today’s engines typically have very tight tolerances everywhere and the crankshaft bearings are no exception. The truer the crank is in its alignment with the mainline and cylinder bore, the tighter the tolerances can be. Bearings and mainline bores must be very precise because during operation the crankshaft is not actually straight: it is elastic.

Researching the Rebuilding Market for Multi-Valve Cylinder Heads

Cylinder head work has provided a good income for many of our readers over the years. All engines eventually need a valve job and guide work if they accumulate enough miles. Head work may also be needed if an engine overheats and blows a head gasket, if the head develops a crack, or an OHC

2004 AETC Conference

The 14th annual Advanced Engine Technology Conference (AETC) saw a return to the Antlers Adam’s Mark, in downtown Colorado Springs, CO, Jan. 8-11. The return to this facility, though higher priced than those used in the recent past, was requested by a poll of last year’s attendees because of the higher quality of the hotel

Diagnose and repair repeated heater core leakage/failure on 1984-2003 Ford vehicles

Engine Builders: The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information that may help installers diagnose and repair repeated heater core leakage/failure on 1984-2003 Ford vehicles. This problem has been reported to occur shortly after engine work has been performed. Leaks may be caused by a chemical reaction called electrolysis. Electrolysis involves an ion exchange between


Having come from the era of the muscle car, it is extremely interesting to me to get out and look at the new vehicles, feel the performance and see the technology that makes the tailpipe emissions half of what they were in 1996. This technology is made possible by faster power train control modules that

PERA’S Core Corner

Unless you maintain the correct Focus on the engine blocks being used for Ford 2.0L SOHC applications beginning in 1997 you could certainly end being Escort-ed down the wrong path and ending up in that awful position of a “do over.” In fact the block choices per application remind me of the “Mounds” and “Almond

Building Drag Racing Cylinder Heads

One thing every drag racer wants is to go faster – even bracket racers. There are lots of ways to shave tenths of seconds and even whole seconds off an elapsed time. It all comes down to how much money the racer is willing to spend in his quest for speed. One way to go

Cylinder Bore Refinishing with Honing Tools

By ring friendly, we mean a finish that provides good support for the rings, retains oil and does not require a lengthy break-in period. For most engines today, a ring-friendly finish means a plateau finish.   A plateau bore finish is what all types of rings eventually produce when they are fully seated, so the

Putting the ‘Power’ in Powersports

Performing rebuilds and other machine services on ATVs, personal watercraft (PWC) and snowmobile engines may provide your shop with a little added boost during a down period without having to retool your entire shop. However, to make the most of the opportunity, you should know what type of market you can serve best – ATV,

Did What Happen In Las Vegas Go Home With You?

Las Vegas is known in some circles as “Sin City,” yet this improbable outcropping of neon, skin and cash labored hard a few years ago to change its image. “Don’t worry,” the city winked to parents, “we’re different now – we’re the ‘family friendly’ vacation destination. C’mon out and bring the kids!” Well, Las Vegas

Pera’s Core Corner

In the quest to find the latest and greatest information about different casting identification, oddities and interchangeability to assist those within the engine remanufacturing or rebuilding industry, it is easy to lose sight of valuable information from the past. No, I am not talking about the ’50s and ’60s, although that may be an idea,

Like Rodney, The Aftermarket Often Gets No Respect

This is the exasperated lament of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, the bungling, bug-eyed comic, as once again his inept and often flamboyant behavior leaves his antagonists merely shaking their heads. The aftermarket too may often feel like uttering “we just don’t get no respect” from the regulators and legislators who are often very knowledgeable about the

Rebuilding The Chrysler 2.7L

It was rated at 200 HP and it was originally used as the base motor in the Intrepid and Concorde, but it’s been the optional engine in the Stratus and Sebring since 2001 and it will be the standard engine in Chrysler’s new 300 sedan that’s coming out later this year. So, while there are