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Just Imports

At my shop, Import Machine Service in Framingham, MA, we do a lot of flow testing and head porting, and are continually working to improve induction systems. Our work, however, is limited to aluminum only. Because I do work for many racers, I get many requests to do “performance” enhancements. Over the years, Mazda Miatas

Thrust Bearing Failure

Thrust bearings are used to control end play in the crankshaft. End play is important because it limits the fore and aft movement of the crankshaft in the block. If an engine is assembled with too much end play in the crank, or if the thrust bearing fails, the forward movement of the crankshaft in

Incoming AERA Chairman Mike Schaefer, Southern Illinois Crankshaft

Ask Mike Schaefer, incoming chairman of the Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA) what the association means to him and he’ll have an immediate and impactful answer: "Without AERA, we wouldn’t have survived." When he opened the doors to Southern Illinois Crankshaft, Red Bud, IL, in November of 1985, and bought his first crank grinder, the salesman

Dodge City’s Finest; Harry’s Machine Works

No history of the American West would be complete without extensive recollections of Dodge City, KS. Formed as a convenient railroad stop to serve the new Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, Dodge City offered something for everyone. That is, if your tastes ran to buffalo hunting, gambling or gunfighting. In its early days, Dodge

Washington Way

Occasionally the rebuilding industry needs to sit back and review what has occurred over the past few years to get some perspective on events that loom on the horizon. This is especially true in the legislative and regulatory arena where past successes or failures often foreshadow future events. The beginning of a new year and

What Cleaning Equipment Do You Prefer?

When it comes to cleaning engines, there seems to be as many processes and machines to get parts clean as there are hair loss treatments. However, finding what works is what really matters to most engine builders. Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating the handling of hazardous waste in ernest, it has added

Mclaren Heads

McLaren, like Cosworth and Ferrari, is a name that for both pro engine builders and race enthusiasts alike is synonymous with high tech performance. Although long a separate entity of McLaren International, one of the most successful teams in the history of Formula One, McLaren Performance Technologies was originally the engine development division of Bruce

PERA’S Core Corner

This month we are going to look at some issues that have certainly been identified in previous issues of Engine Builder. However, based upon the number of recent inquiries at PERA headquarters we thought it might be a good time to bring them to everyone’s attention again as a helpful reminder. First, is the 2.9L

IRS Addresses Phantom Incomes And Ghost Core Values

Sometimes patience and perseverance pays off. Over eight years ago my client, the Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association (APRA), learned that the Internal Revenue Service had issued new internal guidelines directing how rebuilders must value their core inventories for tax purposes. Of particular concern to the industry was the way IRS wanted a rebuilder to value

Nationwide Warranties

The competition faced by engine builders has never been tougher. There seems to be no end to the new car incentives that the manufacturers can dream up in order to continue the torrid pace of new car sales. This factor, along with consumer perceptions of improved OEM engine quality and performance, several years ago was

Conferences And Seminars Offer Many Potential Rewards

Getting away from the day-to-day grind and going to a seminar or conference with fellow shop owners and machinists has rewards that far outweigh the expense, and often may even present new business opportunities. At the Engine Rebuilders Association Tech Expo (AERA) I attended this past April in Indianapolis, a presentation given by John DeBates,

Eliminate head gasket failures on Cat diesels

Q. To eliminate head gasket failures on Cat diesels, how should the heads be torqued? A. Pressurizing the cooling system with the oil pan removed can differentiate between a water pump leak and a cylinder head gasket leak before removing the head. If a head gasket is the source of the problem this revised cylinder

The Cost of Clean

When we asked the simple question "What are your cleaning costs?" we uncovered a complex answer. For many Engine Builder readers, getting and keeping parts clean is a difficult, expensive proposition

Bench Racing and Dyno Testing

Business has been flat to down for many engine builders and their suppliers over the past year or more. However, there was still a great deal of interest from 140 registered attendees at the 12th annual Advanced Engine Technology Conference (AETC) in Colorado Springs, CO, held late last year at the Sheraton Colorado Springs Hotel.

Learning Curve

One of the problems I see traveling around to different shops is the inability of the shop to let people know how good they are. Many of you spend lots of time and money improving the quality of your machine work and the engines you build. You should spend as much time and effort on

Leading Off

The first part of our annual two-part series detailing the custom engine rebuilder/machine shop market begins on page 26. But, as with any national survey, sometimes it is difficult to find the real meaning behind the numbers. My insight is based on not only the survey results, but also ongoing conversations, meetings and industry events

Ohc Journal Repairs

One of the advantages of an overhead cam cylinder head is that it eliminates the need for certain valvetrain components. Mounting the camshaft in the cylinder head rather than the engine block eliminates the need for lifters and pushrods. On some OHC engines, the cam lobes run directly atop the valve stems. On others, cam

Where Should The Cam Bearing Oil Hole Be Located On A 3400 Series Cat Diesel?

A:  The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding cam bearing oil hole location for 3400 series Caterpillar diesel engines and installation of all cam bearings for these engines. This bulletin should be used, and service manuals published before 1985 should not be used. The correct location for the oil hole in the camshaft bearing

Heavy Duty Technology: Piston Failure Analysis

The air/fuel, coolant and oil systems and relationships between various engine operations and the cylinder liner temperatures are critical to maintaining proper operation of all cylinder components. A variety of conditions can cause excessive piston growth or melting, and each will cause varying results – including catastrophic engine failure. The correct air/fuel ratio balance of

Seizing an Opportunity – Ed Davis, Waterhouse Motors

Ed Davis’ first love was motorcycles. Beginning with motocross and taking up cross country racing later on, the Tacoma, WA, native found he had a natural ability and excelled at the two-wheeled sport. During high school and vocational industrial machinist training, Davis hoped to try the professional circuit before age got ahead of him. But,