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Planning For Failure Can Save You When It Happens

It’s an old story. A customer brings in a rebuild job and you do your normal quality job. You dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s and walk away from the engine stand knowing you’ve done a good job. The customer pays and off he goes with his prize. You make the mortgage

What A Year It’s Been…What!? It’s Been A Year?

As I sit here pondering the many topics I could choose to write about for my last column of 2004, I’m suddenly struck by the unbelievable fact that it is December already! Of 2004! Where did 2003 go? What happened to April, for crying out loud? Of course, the holiday shopping days always seem to

Tractor Pulling: It’s Not Your Granddad’s John Deere Anymore

Tractor pulling has been with us for as long as there have been tractors. Farmers used to pull their horses, mules or oxen and, just as today, each bragged that he had the biggest and strongest. Today, at the top echelons of pulling, the technology is equal to anything else in motorsports. Although you won’t

What’s Hot In Performance – Cams, Lifters & Rockers

The camshaft is really the heart of every performance engine because the cam defines the engine’s breathing potential, its torque curve and peak horsepower. The camshaft controls when the valves open, how quickly they open, how far they open (with some help from the rocker arms), how long the valves are held open, and when

Not So Stock: NASCAR Motors and Their Street Counterparts

The engines in NASCAR’s newly introduced Strictly Stock class of stock car racing in 1949 were literally stock, right off the dealer’s showroom floor. Today, they’re anything but. So what happened? Evolution. Like any sport or industry, evolution has moved NASCAR racing to where it is today, a multi-million dollar business. The engines, called ‘motors’

PERA’s Core Corner

I am convinced that the 4.6L Ford SOHC V8 engine casting component proliferation is attempting to compete with the children’s movie “The Never Ending Story:” it just keeps changing as it goes along for no apparent reason. However, what we are going to look at today is more of a James Bond mystery since no

Jeeps: 4.0L Cylinder Heads

  The 4.0L came on the scene in 1987 and is still being used, however 2005 may be the end of the journey in domestic production. It’ll be a bittersweet farewell: most who have it love it. This is an old school inline six with lots of torque and there are still many of them

Can You Keep Up With The Changes In The Industry?

In this fast-paced world, keeping up with any industry can be very trying. Keeping up with the latest trends can be the difference between success and failure. Those businesses that remain successful are those that continually stay at the forefront of their chosen field. The engine rebuilding business has seen tremendous change in the past

The Angle On Valve Seats

Valve seats seem to be a fairly simple engine component but they play a critical role in sealing compression and cooling the valves. When a seat becomes worn, it may leak compression and allow the valve to run hotter than normal. The same thing can happen if the seat is out-of-round or has lost its

New Clean Diesel Technology

With gasoline prices in the U.S. bouncing around the two dollars per gallon mark, record high oil prices and growing uncertainty over the price and availability of future oil supplies, any new technology that can give consumers more bang for their buck should be welcomed. Domestic vehicle manufacturers have virtually abandoned further development of electric

Bedplate torque sequence for a Chrysler 4.7L

What is the bedplate torque sequence for a Chrysler 4.7L? My manual doesn’t seem to list all the fasteners. The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding the main bearing cap/bedplate bolt torque and sequence for 1999-2004 Chrysler 4.7L VIN N engines. This engine uses multiple fasteners at many different locations to secure the

PERA’s Core’s Corner

Some months back (December 2003 Engine Builder, to be exact), I wrote about some of the identification features of the Gen III GM V8 engines. Considering that the Gen IV with DOD (Displacement on Demand) is about to be released, this is probably a good time to go over a few other things that you

Ford Timing Chains and Belts

So if a customer is driving a vehicle that is more than 5 or 6 years old, he may be driving on borrowed time if the timing belt has not been replaced. The risk of belt failure goes up sharply once a belt surpasses its recommended replacement interval, which for most Ford applications (except the

Rebuilding The Ford 3.0L V6

The 3.0L Ford pushrod motor has been around for nearly 20 years. It was originally introduced back in 1986 and millions of them have been installed in a wide variety of front and rear wheel drive cars and trucks since then. It’s been used in several FWD applications including the Taurus/Sable, the Tempo/Topaz and the

What head gasket issues does a Toyota 2.2L have that I should be concerned with?

The AERA Technical Committee says that loss of engine coolant has been reported on 1997 Toyota 2.2L 5SFE engines in various amounts. In most cases, there are limited signs of this leakage on the ground directly below the engine compartment after it has set for a long period of time. Depending on the production date

Getting To The Bottom Of The Great Ford Cover-Up

Lately I’ve been noticing an increase of instances where an engine may be the same from one year to the next, with the exception of one major change: the front cover, primarily with SOHC or DOHC engines. Well, we are back this month with an old friend: the Ford 4.6L SOHC engine family and its

Big-Inch Cadillac’s

While some engines are relatively rare in machine shops, the big Cadillacs have remained a consistent source of income. These engines are Cadillac’s last big hurrah at traditional big-cube, flagship GM engines. Surprisingly, they are also a scaled-down version of a V-12 engine that made it through early production and road-testing before being scrapped as

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,