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Machine Maintenance: There’s Nothing Boring About Boring Bar Maintenance

You know the feeling: the machine you want, you can’t afford, and the machine you can afford you already have. Don’t you wish, just once, you could call up the sales representative and say “My turn, send me one of those new ‘XYZ’ machines?” You know the kind, the new state-of-the-art machining center that can

Performance Notes: Cashing In On Power Adders: Blowers, Turbos, Nitrous

The demand for high performance vehicles has never been stronger. A good indicator is that automakers are turning out more powerful models with each successive new car introduction. Remember when 500 horsepower was a pretty good number for a race motor? Today you can purchase a number of vehicles that eclipse 500hp, from a Z06

PERA’S Core Corner: When It Comes To ‘How Clean,’ Do You Really Know?

Ever notice how many commercials there are in our environment about cleaning? Cleaning your floors, toilets, counter tops, disinfecting everything and anything that you come into contact with. In fact even the air that we breathe needs to be cleaned. Spin that out to the vehicles that we drive. You know they have to be

Wet Flow Testing

Racers and engine builders are familiar with flow testing, used to measure the airflow and efficiency of their cylinder heads. In theory, there are two basic aerodynamic factors that are intuitive in the human mind. Number one, a bigger hole will flow more air. Number two, a smoother hole will flow even more air. To

Final Wrap: EB Staff Makes Grand SEMA Show Return…Sort Of

Almost lost among the thousands of chrome parts, neon lights, candy apple paints and mega-dollar tradeshow displays was one nondescript little 10×x10× booth tucked away next to a fire department standpipe. No thumping audio system, no gorgeous booth babe, custom car, just three chairs, a small table and copies of the latest issue of our

Tech Notes

Engine Builders: Pennzoil® reengineered its Pennzoil Platinum™ full synthetic motor oil and introduced adaptive molecules that are designed to survive the searing heat, intense pressures and shearing forces of today’s precision-made engine parts. The unique adaptive molecules in Pennzoil Platinum™ are engineered to manage the constant mechanical stresses inside an engine. They constantly change shape

Shop Line

Q: Are the cracked exhaust seats in the Cummins 5.9L diesel engine found in the Ram pickup a cause for concern? A: The AERA Technical Committee says cracked exhaust seats on 1998-2006 Cummins/Chrysler 5.9L diesel engines have been reported by other AERA members as well. The 24 valve engines with four valves per cylinder have

Fast Lane: Boosting Your Business With A Web Presence – Part II

In part one of this series (“A Web Site Can Add To Your Business Bottom Line,” August 2006 Engine Builder, page 38) we talked about the need for every business to have a Web site, regardless of what type of business you are in. Sadly, in the recent Machine Shop Market Profile in this very

PERA’S Core Corner: No Tricks: Eliminating The Low Oil Pressure Gremlin

Since this is the month of screams and fright, of ghouls, goblins and gremlins (no, not the “classic” AMC car from the ’70s – although that was scary enough) I am taking the opportunity to try and help eliminate one of them. This month’s Core Corner is more about being helpful or informative rather than

Salaries & Benefits

The subject of money tends to be one of the most sensitive topics in our society. In most situations, it’s the most impolite question ever. Most decent Americans are embarrassed to ask it. And yet, like rubbernecking at an accident on the highway, we’re drawn to know: How much do you make? At trade shows,

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