Page 1

C1 Cover 4/11/14 2:49 PM Page c1




C2 Scat_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:40 PM Page c2

Circle 2 on Reader Service Card for more information

1 DNJ_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:47 PM Page 1

Circle 1 on Reader Service Card for more information

Contents 04.14

2 Contents 4/11/14 3:08 PM Page 2




What Can CNC Do For You? According to our most recent Babcox Machine Shop Market Profile Survey, 12 percent of engine builders said they own a CNC machining center. The use of CNC shop equipment is growing because it offers so many advantages. Check out this feature to find out whether CNC should have a place in your shop.

14 EFI Tuning Tips Since most engine builders out there have come into contact with electronic fuel injection (EFI) by now, we’ve highlighted four helpful hints for dealing with scenarios that commonly rear their ugly heads during EFI tuning.


The V8-60 was the first V8 engine for the Ford line of cars. Nobody imagined the effects it would have on the racing and hot rod world in the years to come. Even in its stock trim, it was a gutty little powerplant, but it would serve as a basis for many performance versions in the years to come. Read why engine builders are still fascinated with this powerplant.

54 Columns Publisher’s Perspective


By Doug Kaufman, Publisher Performance Engine Builder Contest - New sponsor, same expectations

Head Games A cylinder head is much more than a casting that tops off the block, holds the valves and forms the combustion chambers. Head selection is a key ingredient in building a winning performance engine. Read what to consider when selecting a cylinder head.

Mustang Milestone ..............................8 By Dave Sutton Ford Mustang Turns 50, helps to fund an industry

Profitable Performance


By Dave Sutton Our 392 Magnum engine project gets baked, blasted and bored

45 Ford 390 Rebuild The Ford “FE” engine has a rich history that is often overlooked. The term “FE” is heard, but not a lot of people today know what engine family this is associated with. We take a closer look inside the powerplant named after Edsel Ford, which was produced from 1958 to 1976.


Green Strategies Guide Waste Removal ..................................30 Green Thinking ..................................34 The Parts Collector ..............................37 Gases on the Rise ................................40

DEPARTMENTS Industry News......................................................6 Shop Solutions ....................................................12 Supplier Spotlights ..............................................67 Cores/Classifieds/Ad Index ..................................70 ENGINE BUILDER founded Oct. 1964 Copyright 2014 Babcox Media Inc.

ENGINE BUILDER (ISSN 1535-041X) (April 2014, Volume 50, Number 04): Published monthly by Babcox Media Inc., 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333 U.S.A. Phone (330) 670-1234, FAX (330) 670-0874. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH 44333 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ENGINE BUILDER, 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333. A limited number of complimentary subscriptions are available to individuals who meet the qualification requirements. Call (330) 670-1234, Ext. 275, to speak to a subscription services representative or FAX us at (330) 670-5335. Paid Subscriptions are available for non-qualified subscribers at the following rates: U.S.: $69 for one year. Canada: $89 for one year. Canadian rates include GST. Ohio residents add current county sales tax. Other foreign rates/via air mail: $129 for one year. Payable in advance in U.S. funds. Mail payment to ENGINE BUILDER, P.O. Box 75692, Cleveland, OH 44101-4755. VISA, MasterCard or American Express accepted. Publisher reserves the right to reject any subscription that does not conform to his standards or buying power coverage. Advertising which is below standard is refused. Opinions in signed articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of this magazine or its publisher. Diligent effort is made to ensure the integrity of every statement. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage.

2 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

3 PBM_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:47 PM Page 3

Circle 3 on Reader Service Card for more information

Publisher’s Perspective

4 Pub Perspective 4/11/14 3:07 PM Page 4

Simply The Best 2014 Performance Engine Builder Contest Has New Sponsor, Same Lofty Expectations


n the world of competitive eating, Joey Chestnut stands recognized as the champion hot dog consumer last July, he set the world record by wolfing down 69 Nathan’s dogs in 10 minutes. Eric “Mean” Melin is the reigning World Air Guitar champion as he out-pretended all other pretend guitarists last year in Oulu, Finland. Competition drives some people to seek recognition in some very strange ways, doesn’t it? At Engine Builder, we’re pleased to announce that the winner of the third annual Performance Engine Builder of the Year will be selected based on REAL skills and accomplishments – and this year, the award will be bigger and better than ever. Before we get into award criteria and prizes, however, I’d like to welcome our new official sponsor, Speed-Pro POWERFORGED Pistons. The Speed-Pro brand, long recognized as one of the leading names in racing and performance, will power this year’s contest to new heights of recognition and excitement. One thing that won’t change are the lofty expectations we put on potential winners. We will again be looking for the best example of creativity and innovation, training and education, merchandising and promotion, professional standards and conduct, appearance, solid business management, community

4 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

involvement, business growth, achievement and victories. As I said last year, that’s a long list, and it’s intended to weed out the weak: we’re looking for the best of the best of the best. As you read recently in this magazine (Engine Builder’s March High Performance Buyers Guide, page 16), Kroyer Racing Engines from Las Vegas is the 2013 champion. Who will be announced as the winner at the Advanced Engine Technology Conference (AETC) this December?

PUBLISHER Doug Kaufman

The race is just getting started. Applications for the award will start being accepted at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, 2014 and can be found at the official award website,, along with complete rules and prize descriptions. We’ll announce the winner at a special presentation during the 2014 AETC in Indianapolis, Dec. 8-10. The winner will receive a hefty cash prize, an Apple iPad, three nights’ lodging at the Indianapolis Hyatt during AETC, admission for two to AETC, the Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award Plaque, a feature article about the business in a 2015 issue of Engine Builder, as well as numerous other prizes from Engine Builder and Speed-Pro. Applications will be accepted until September 31 when a group of semi-finalists will be selected and asked to provide additional information for judging. A panel of judges, including representatives from Speed-Pro and Engine Builder will select three finalists and, ultimately, the 2014 winner. The fact that Joey Chestnut holds multiple world records for eating 121 Twinkies in 6 minutes and 141 hardboiled eggs in 8 minutes may be impressive in some circles, but if you want to be the Performance Engine Builder of the Year, you’d better bring your Agame. Good luck! ■

5 Liberty_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:46 PM Page 5

Circle 5 on Reader Service Card for more information

Industry News

6 Industry News 4/11/14 3:07 PM Page 6

gFollow us on facebook

AERA Announces Resignation of its President Paul Hauglie The Engine Builders Association (AERA) has announced the resignation of president Paul Hauglie effective March 31, 2014. The association said that it thanked Hauglie for his service to AERA and wished him luck with his future endeavors. AERA reported that Jim Rickoff will serve as interim president, and will handle all duties of the president’s position until further notice. “Jim has a long-standing commitment to our association dating back to the early ‘90s with his service on the AERA board of directors, as an AERA employee and most recently, as marketing consultant and editor of Engine Professional magazine. Jim has taken over day-to-day operations at AERA headquarters and the announcement of a permanent

replacement will be made in the very near future,” AERA said in its statement April 2. Rickoff said he expected the board to move quickly on naming a replacement. As of presstime for this issue, the position had not yet been filled.

The “Powersports: UTV Accessorization” report is one of many market research reports that SEMA offers to help members make informed and strategic business decisions. Members may download a copy of the report at no cost at

SEMA Report Examines the Powersports Accessories Market

Goodson Buys Kwik-Way Valve Seat Tooling Assets

A new report focused on the accessorization of utility task vehicles (UTVs, also known as sideby-sides) reveals that approximately 670,000 UTV models were sold in the United States in 2010-2012. Released by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the 62-page report provides auto accessory businesses with an understanding of the needs and purchase habits of UTV owners and aids in their marketing, sales and product development efforts.

Goodson Tools & Supplies for Engine Builders announced the purchase of all assets of Kwik-Way Valve Seat Tooling division. According to David Monyhan, Goodson national sales manager, electric seat drivers will be offered for both Kwik-Way and Sioux. In addition, Goodson will continue to offer the grinding wheel specs developed by Kwik-Way. Subscribe to weekly news and tech information delivered to your email inbox at

Industry Events May 23-24 Lane Automotive Car Show & Cruise In Watervliet, MI or 800-772-5266

May 23-25 Springfield Swap Meet and Car Show Springfield, OH or 937-376-0111

May 17-25 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, IN or 317-492-8500

August 28-September 2 NHRA Chevy Performance US Nationals Indianapolis, IN or 317-718-8750

October 28-30 Engine Expo Novi, MI

For more industry events, visit our website at Circle 4 for more information 6 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Circle 6 for more information

or subscribe to

7 Safety_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:46 PM Page 7

Circle 7 on Reader Service Card for more information

Tales From The WD

8-10 Tales from WD Column 4/11/14 3:05 PM Page 8

Mustang Milestone Ford Mustang turns 50, helps to fund an industry CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Dave Sutton


e live in some pretty course I couldn't leave it alone. exciting times for After I scattered the motor across performance the highway, I learned just how automobiles, especially muscle much you can spend building a cars. Corvettes are taking on the high performance 289. I started super cars and knocking on the 200 looking around for a machine shop mph door. The Camaro and the and started reading up on what I'd Challenger are back and Ford Motor Company is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their very popular Mustang. Besides the Corvette, I can’t think of another automotive model that has sustained a 50-year run. And what a run it has been, and how lucky we have been for it's success. The good news is, it's not over yet. Let’s look back over the years and see how the Mustang has impacted the engine rebuilding and parts business. First, I have to admit I was a Mustang guy. My second car, my graduation present from A custom 2014 Ford Mustang GT (right) starring in the movie, “Need for my parents in 1974 was a 1966 Speed,” was auctioned off for charity Ford Mustang Coupe. It had a by Ford Motor Company at the warmed over 289 and C4 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction on transmission. On the outside it April 12. was decked out with a set of Above: a Mustang Cobra Jet Twinaluminum wheels and 60 series Turbo concept from 2012 takes advantires. My neighbor, whom we tage of the turbocharging expertise bought the car from and whose Ford engineers have developed for the mother had bought it new late Ecoboost engine lineup. A pair of low in 1965, had already invested inertia turbochargers adapted from the Focus ST were added to the 5.0-liter quite a bit of money in it. And V8 in the quest to keep the Cobra Jet that was only the start. Of

8 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

the most successful production-class drag racer available.

need for parts to put it back together again. At this time I was not a part of the industry, but soon after I would be. This was not the only motor I built for that car while I owned it. It got a third, even stronger mill, went through a transmission or two and got a better looking set of wheels and tires. I've had friends and workmates who owned Mustangs and one thing we all had in common was a need to personalize them. These cars just begged to be “hopped-up.” And, most got engine rebuilds as well. From the start, these cars appealed to women. They

8-10 Tales from WD Column 4/11/14 3:06 PM Page 9

“From the racetrack to the silver screen to the airwaves to the toy box, Mustang has become an enduring part of pop culture.” — Ford Motor Co. were sporty looking, yet fairly economical. But, they were not known for their performance. That is, until a guy named Carroll Shelby came along. We all know what he did for the car, but stop and think about what he did for our industry. He took the Mustang and with a little re-engineering and a fair amount of bolt-on parts turned it into a true high-performance race car. Not everyone could afford to lay down the cash for a Shelby, but like my '66 you could invest a little at a time and build yourself a nice performing, good looking little street rod. In 1970, Ford introduced the 351 Cleveland. By 1974, when I started at my first parts store and machine shop, the Cleveland heads were coming into the shop with their wore out valve guides. We did great business with our local Ford dealer rebuilding heads for the 351C, M and 400 engines. 1973 was the last year of the original Falcon based Mustang. In 1974, Ford introduced the Mustang II. The second generation car was much smaller and had the more economical 2.3L OHC engine under the hood. Now here's a motor that brought us all business! I can't imagine how many new camshafts we sold for the 2300 Fords in the day. We'd build a box, fit it with a new cam, 8 new lifters, 8 rocker arms and a bottle of lube and we had a cam kit. I was working for an engine kit WD by then. We sold a lot of engine kits

Tales From WD

Canadian airline pilot Capt. Stanley Tucker managed to buy a preproduction Mustang convertible with serial number 1 that was not meant to be sold. Ford later traded him that car for a new 1966 convertible – the 1-millionth Mustang produced.

for the 2300 Ford, but we couldn't keep cam kits on the shelf. Of course that wasn't all. A cam sale was usually good for a valve job sale and customers would need the gaskets to put it all back together. And if the job wasn't done right, they'd be back for another. Unfortunately, these cars weren't the basis for much of a performance vehicle. They were still candidates for an engine rebuild. Mustangs have always been very popular, even these glorified Pintos. Unlike cars today, these emissions burdened and carbureted engines wore out. Most owners didn't have the inclination to rescue these cars like they did and still do the first generation Mustang. This model is not doing much to help us keep our doors open today. 1979 brought the next generation, the “Fox” body. Still powered by the 2.3L four, the 2.8L V6 and some pretty low horsepower V8's, these cars would bring the words performance and Mustang back together and spawn a revival of the performance Ford. And even though the 1978

Mustang II wore the first 5.0 badge, the 5.0L will always be associated with this new model. You'll still find these cars on the street and on the drag strip, most powered by supercharger and turbocharger 302's. These cars and engines helped to kick the aftermarket in gear as owners began to demand not only performance heads, but also cylinder blocks that wouldn't split in half when introduced to 1000+ horsepower. Race cars are one thing, but if these older cars are going to stay on the road, the aftermarket needs to respond with restoration parts. This model ran for 11 years and many of these cars are still on the road. I’m glad to report I’ve seen a few catalog companies now pushing a book with all the parts to keep the 1979-93 Fox body Mustangs alive. And they should. A lot of great things happened for these Pony cars in this year span, including the return of the GT model, the return of the convertible body style, the return of a Holley four-barrel carb, the introduction of Ford’s SVO (Special Vehicles Operations) group, the introduction of Ford’s Special Vehicle 9

8-10 Tales from WD Column 4/11/14 3:06 PM Page 10

Tales From WD

Team and the SVT Cobra, as well as the introduction of factory 16 inch aluminum wheels. In 1985, a 5.0L high-output V8 produced 210hp and was mated to a manual transmission. These cars were powerful enough that Ford had to design a Quadrashock rear suspension that could dampen the wheel hop. OK, these aren’t muscle car horsepower figures, but these cars are begging for power improvement from added cubic inches from a 347 stroker and/or power adders like a supercharger. As these cars turn into someone’s hobby, they will continue to fuel our rebuilding and high performance parts industries. The next or Fourth Generation Mustangs were built from 1994-2004. On March 2, 1966, in Dearborn, MI, the Ford Motor Company celebrated the production of its 1 millionth Mustang, a white convertible. The sporty, affordable vehicle was officially launched two years earlier, on April 17, 1964, at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, NY.

10 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Appealing Mustang engines include a 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 (left), a second-generation 2012 Boss 302 5.0L V8 enhanced with an upgraded intake system, forged rotating assembly, CNC ported heads, revised camshafts and a high flow "runners in the box" intake (center) and a 1996 SVT Cobra 4.6L DOHC “modular” engine (right).

The cars brought us a more modern and sophisticated Mustang. 1994 and ‘95 are the last years to use the old 302 OHV V8. First introduced as a 260 cubic inch motor in 1964-1/2 Mustang, I can’t even imagine how many 260, 289 and 302 Ford motors have been rebuilt over the 50 years. More GT, SVT and Cobras emblems adorn these cars as well and their power coming from the new Modular SOHC and DOHC V8’s. Horsepower numbers begin to rise with the introduction of these new engines and hit their max in 2003 when the SVT Mustang Cobra was outfitted with an Eaton supercharger and

produced 390hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. These cars are 10 or more years old. Their performance level and sophistication will guarantee a long shelf life of interest in these models and these are some of the engines we are seeing rebuild and enhanced today. In 2005, Ford reintroduced the first generation Mustang in the new retro-style Generation-5. This is great news for the aftermarket. By producing a new car that closely resembles the old model they reenergize the demand for the original. As the value goes up, so does the spending to bring these older models back to life. These new models are very stylish and very exciting on their own. These cars also come in a variety of performance models with names like Shelby, Cobra Jet, Boss 302 and GT attached. Customers are rebuilding and modifying to increase their performance and this is more good news for the industry. What is truly amazing is how many of these cars are still around. And whether they were turned into a street driven race car, or just kept stock, possibly restored, they all have had, or will need, an engine rebuild or two! So whether it's a 200 inline 6, a 428 CJ or the 662-hp aluminum 5.8L supercharged V8 in the 2014 Shelby GT500, the industry’s most powerful production V8, these engines are in Mustangs, and Mustangs have been a large part of our industry and will be for many years to come. ■

11 QPP_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:45 PM Page 11

Circle 11 on Reader Service Card for more information

12-13 Shop Solutions 4/11/14 3:05 PM Page 12

Combustion Chamber Molds When making chamber molds for a variety of purposes, including holding up the valves on the assembly bench, (as opposed to a beanbag or shop rag) common auto body filler (Bondo) works very well. It's fast and very inexpensive. Just mix the body filler and fill chambers of an assembled head. The molds release easily if you just spray a little silicone into the chamber for a release agent before filling. At pennies per mold, it's a very practical way to make enough molds of each chamber for assembling heads or for many other purposes such as determining piston dome requirements, valve relief locations, etc. Keith Morganstein Max Effort Engines Sutton, MA

Metal Chips in the Media To save money on media blasting, I use the metal chips generated from my boring bar and brake lathe as a blasting media. I installed a reducer in the feed line to generate the correct amount of air speed, then use the chips instead of glass bead. I get a nicer finish on both iron and aluminum parts. Gary Musman Channel City Engineering Santa Barbara, CA

On a More Personal Note... I got a handwritten letter in the mail this week, and since it’s so unusual these days, I opened it first. Inside there was a plain note card with these words scrawled in neat block letters, “Hi Steve, just a quick note to thank you for your recent order. We appreciate your business.” Hand-addressed envelopes always get opened. Handwritten letters always get read. A creative machine shop marketer could mail notes to local engine installers asking them to drop by the shop for a free cup of coffee and a tour, or the note might offer a discount on a portion of their next job. 12 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

The note doesn’t have to be long. In fact, the shorter the better. And for the price of a $.49 stamp, you just can’t beat this cost effective marketing tool. Steve Rich Sterling Bearing Inc. Kansas City, MO

Get the Job Into the Shop When I get a call for an engine rebuild, I am not immediately willing to give an exact price over the phone. I like to give a ballpark estimate and tell them that not until after we take it apart and check out the job completely, will we be able to give them a better idea on the exact price. I encourage them to bring it to me to check out first. Once that job comes through the door, I have the potential to make it a bigger sale instead of spending time on the phone debating with them the cost without ever seeing the job. Jeffrey Myers MAR Automotive, INC Philadelphia, PA

Roller Timing Set Block Clearance When using a Double Roller timing set on a GM 350 Vortec or a GM K block, you must check the clearance between the cam gear and the bosses around the oil galleys in the block. Some blocks may need to have some grinding done for clearance and on some this was already done at the factory. An easy way to check is to place the cam gear on a camshaft then carefully install your cam into the block. Now, just spin the gear and if you see it hitting the block just grind on the bosses until the gear has plenty of clearance. If not done, the gear will grind off metal filings that will be carried throughout the motor by the oil and we all know the damage this can cause. Greg Myall Engine and Performance Warehouse Oakland, CA

Cylinder Liner Cavitation Erosion Cavitation erosion is often found in diesel engines on the exterior walls of wet cylinder liners. The amount of erosion and decay will vary from engine to engine and may also vary from cylinder to cylinder. Vertical strips or patches of decay often form outside the cylinder corresponding with the piston thrust face. They also form just over the top sealing ring of the liner. If not kept in check, coolant may eventually penetrate the cylinder and contaminate the oil or oil may be introduced to the coolant. It has been proposed from a group of engine rebuilders and parts manufacturers that this cavitation erosion is caused by excessive harmonic vibrations in the engine and possibly by or in conjunction with loose fitting cylinder liners. Both cause the formation and implosion of vapor bubbles within the coolant which attack and erode the cylinder liner surface. Vibration is caused as the pistons move up and down within the cylinders, especially at the piston thrust area. The surface of the cylinder sleeve that comes in contact with the coolant is moving in and out very quickly. During this process small bubbles are produced and struck. The resulting implosion causes shock waves against this surface that have been calculated to reach over 10,000º F and pressures more than 10,000 psi. Cost effective materials to manufacture parts from that would prevent this cavitation erosion have not yet been found. Some coatings have been applied to slow the decay and extend engine life before major repairs are needed. A reduction in harmonic vibrations will also eliminate cavitation. Correct fitting liners cannot be over stressed. Incorrect clearance between liner and cylinder block can be a serious contributor to liner vibration. In many cases cavitation can be avoided by making sure the fuel injection complies with the manufacturer’s specifications, the engine’s speed is governed according to the

12-13 Shop Solutions 4/11/14 3:05 PM Page 13

manufacturer’s data and that these controls function. Supplementary Cooling Additives (SCA) are specified by manufacturers and these additives form a protective coating on surfaces exposed to the coolant in an effort to reduce cavitation erosion. Following proper maintenance schedules will help keep the proper level of concentrations of these SCA's aiding cavitation protection, to maintain proper pH to avoid corrosion and to check water hardness to avoid mineral deposit formation. All manufacturer’s recommendations regarding additives, coolants and coolant filters as well as maintenance schedules should be strictly adhered to and followed at all times. Engine Pro Technical Committee with thanks to Howard Enterprises

Shop Solutions – The Power of Knowledge Engine Builder and Engine Pro present Shop Solutions in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine and at The feature is intended to provide machine shop owners and engine technicians the opportunity to share their knowledge to benefit the entire industry and their own shops. Those who submit Shop Solutions that are published are awarded a free one year membership to the Engine Rebuilders Council and a prepaid $100 Visa gift card.

Engine Pro is a nationwide network of distributors that warehouse a full line of internal engine components for domestic and import passenger car, light truck, heavy duty, industrial, marine, agricultural and performance applications. They also produce engine parts under the Engine Pro name that offer premium features at an affordable price.

Circle 13 for more information 13

CNC Feature

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 14



re you using Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) equipment in your shop? According to our most recent Babcox Machine Shop Market Profile Survey, 12 percent of engine builders said they own a CNC machining center (a multipurpose machine that can do surfacing, boring, milling, drilling, etc.). The survey also asked what other types of equipment our readers own (boring & honing machines, surfacers, valve guide & seat machines, etc.), but we didn’t ask if the equipment was manual or CNC. Most shops (88 to 94 percent) own these types of machines, as one would expect since they make their living doing engine work. Had we asked for a breakdown between manual and CNC machines, the percentage of shops who are using some type of CNC equipment would likely be one out of four or maybe even one out of three. The point is the use of CNC equipment continues to grow -- and with good reason. Many of the CNC machines that are in use today are found in high-end performance shops, shops that work on a lot of late model engines, and shops that are doing specialized machining for both automotive and 14 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

non-automotive customers. The use of CNC shop equipment is growing because it offers so many advantages: • It reduces the need for skilled labor. An operator doesn’t have to stand in front of the machine all day manually controlling its motions and babysitting processes. The automatic controls run the equipment, freeing up the operator to work on something else. CNC machines also don’t punch a time clock, don’t call in sick, don’t take vacations and are not interrupted by phone calls, nature calls, coffee breaks, parts deliveries or shop chatter. Any of these things can interrupt the steady flow of work in a shop and create distractions that reduce productivity and sometimes lead to mistakes. Shop owners we’ve interviewed tell us that CNC allows them to do more work with the same number of employees, or in some cases to trim staff. One shop owner said, “We used to have seven people working in our shop. Now we do the same amount of work with just two people. It’s a huge cost savings in labor for us. Once a job has been setup, the automatic controls take over and do all of the machine

work. If it’s a long job, the machine doesn’t stop working at 5 o’clock and go home. We can let it run all night if necessary, and start the next job first thing in the morning.” • CNC offers a high level of accuracy and repeatability. A highly skilled operator who pays close attention to details can do the same thing, but everybody has a bad day now and then and makes mistakes. Late model engines have much closer tolerances than engines from a few decades ago, so you have to be right on when you bore, hone and machine critical components. There’s less room for slop, so once you have a process in place that delivers the accuracy you want, you don’t have to worry about mistakes messing up a job. Once you’ve setup the basic machining perimeters for a job, the programming can be stored and reused or easily modified the next time a similar job comes in. For example, say you want to blueprint a small block Chevy engine. Once you’ve established the basic dimensions for locating and centering the cylinder bores, lifter bores, crank and cam bores, deck surfaces, etc., you have a digital map that be used over and over

15 SBI_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:45 PM Page 15

Circle 15 on Reader Service Card for more information

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 16

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 17

CNC Feature Can't find a performance head for the engine you want to build? Having a custom-made CNC billet aluminum head is always an option.

again for every engine you do. • CNC provides a higher level of quality control through automation. Assuming the job is set up correctly the first time, the CNC machine can do the same job over and over with the same degree of accuracy each time. This takes the human operator our of the equation and delivers consistent results no matter who pushes the buttons on the machine. • If you are currently sending out parts for CNC machining, you can keep those jobs in-house by installing your own CNC machine. This can give you greater control over your work and reduces the time it takes to complete a job by eliminating shipping and delivery delays. • One of the most popular applications for CNC machining is for porting high-performance cylinder heads. This type of work usually requires a 5-axis machine that can reach all areas of the intake and exhaust ports for a seamless transition. But a CNC machining center can do more than heads. It can bore cylinders, line bore blocks and OHC heads, machine lifter bores, surface decks, lighten blocks and even fabricate custom billet parts from a solid chunk of metal. • With a CNC machining center and some CAD/CAM design software, you can even make your own parts. A growing number of shops with 4-axis and 5-axis CNC machines are finding new markets where they can offer custom machining services. This includes copying parts, making custom automotive and motorcycle parts and even fabricating custom nonautomotive components for a variety of industrial and agricultural customers.

A digital probe on a CNC machining center can be used to map parts, giving you a blueprint of all the key dimensions and surfaces on that part. If you then want to replicate a part out of solid billet aluminum (like a cylinder head, engine block, connecting rod, or crankshaft), you have the threedimensional map for making it. “If you can dream it, you can machine it,” said one CNC equipment supplier. With the proper software, you can digitally map and copy or modify parts, and you can design new parts from scratch. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for expanding and growing your business.

CNC Fear Factor In spite of all the advantages CNC offers, some shop owners are reluctant to embrace new technology — especially anything that involves computers. Old school machinists are used to pulling handles and turning knobs on their equipment, and watching the machine as it does its work. They enjoy the hands-on control over what’s happening and are reluctant to turn the controls over 17

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 18

CNC Feature to a computer. What happens if the computer locks up or crashes? Can they still operate the machine manually or do they have to wait for a service technician to come fix it? These are legitimate concerns for anyone who is considering a major new equipment purchase. “Those who don’t see a need for CNC equipment are living in the past,” said one shop owner. “As time goes on they’ll find their old school ways of doing things are no longer competitive with shops who have gone to CNC. It’s survival of the fittest.” The resistance to computers is a generational thing, with younger shop owners and machinists being much more open and receptive to automation. Many automotive-oriented CNC Almost everybody has some type of machines use “conversational smart phone these days, or own a tablet, laptop or desktop PC. Cars are programming” where the operator enters basic packed with numerous control instructions that tell the modules and even simple appliances machine what he wants it to do, now have computer chips inside how deep he wants to cut, mill them. So it’s not like its totally alien or surface, and any other technology that’s being added onto important information that has shop equipment to make the to be input before the machine can start the job. equipment easier to operate, more Photo Courtesy CENTROID productive and efficient.

CNC Programming The automatic controls on most CNC machines use either keyboard or touch screen inputs. The interface is Windowsbased so anyone who knows how to use a computer should have some familiarity with the controls. The software that actually runs the equipment ranges from easy to learn to very complex. CNC software designed for industrial applications is usually more difficult to learn than CNC software which has been developed exclusively for automotive machinists. Learning how to navigate numerous drop down menus, prompts and other inputs to set up the equipment takes some time. Industrial CNC machines are typically programmed using G-code or M-code commands entered on a keyboard or touch screen. These are special codes that tell the tooling how to move in the X, Y and Z planes. To make life easier for automotive machinists who are not engineers or who have not taken a CNC programming training course, many automotive-oriented CNC machines use “conversational programming.” The operator enters basic instructions that tell the machine what he wants it to do, how deep he wants to cut, mill or surface, and any other important information that has to be input before the machine can start the job. Some software even has built in safe guards so if the information entered Circle 18 for more information 18 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 19

CNC Feature doesn’t make sense or would overextend the tooling, it prevents the operator from proceeding and saves the embarrassment of making a costly mistake. Conversational programming is much easier and faster to learn than traditional G-code and M-code programming. So with minimal training, a CNC machine can be up and running and making you money. In fact, the more training a CNC supplier offers, the better. And the more specific the training is to the type of work you do in your shop, the better. If you’re making a major investment in something like a CNC machining center, you want all the training you can get. If an equipment supplier can’t provide adequate training, find another supplier who can. If you want to use CAD/CAM software to custom fabricate parts, the learning curve will be longer. It takes time to learn the nuances of CAD/CAM software if you’ve had no previous experience designing parts on a computer. This may require taking a CAD/CAM training course at a votech school or community college. But once you’ve mastered the basics and have gained some experience, the sky is the limit as to what you can do. Another point to emphasize is that today’s CNC machines are not the CNC machines of a decade ago. The software has evolved over the years, and each new generation of upgrades has brought with it more features and capabilities. Inputs are more intuitive and user friendly, and displays are easier to read and more informative. Upgradability is another advantage CNC has over manual machines. Upgrades can be installed by a simple download. If you need a new button to perform a new function, there’s no wiring to rewire, no new switches or buttons or other components that have to be connected to the machine. It’s all done through the software and user interface. Like a smart phone upgrade, new icons or buttons can be added to an existing display screen or touch screen to provide new functions or information.

has to offer, how can you remain competitive in today’s market without this type of equipment? CNC machines are not cheap. They require a sizable investment: it can cost you up to six figures depending on what you buy. With five year financing, the payback can come fairly quick, according to CNC suppliers. Your return on investment will depend on what kind of work you are doing, how many jobs per day, week

or month you are doing, how much you are charging for your work, the time and labor savings you realize from automating processes, and any additional savings that result from better quality control (fewer comebacks and do-overs that cost you money). For CNC custom work, some shops charge by the piece or the batch. Others charge by the time it takes to complete the job. Rates are usually

Can You Afford It? The question is not “Can you afford it?” but “How can you not afford it?” Given all of the advantages that CNC Circle 19 for more information 19

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 20

CNC Feature Today's engine builders can get the accuracy and versatility of CNC machines without getting lost learning CNC machine code. Conversational programming has been created specifically to meet the needs of the engine builder, whether you need versatility to handle a wide variety of engine machine work or automatic machines that are easy to learn and fast to operate. Photo courtesy of Rottler Mfg.

variable and depend on who the customer is and what they want. It’s not the same as charging a flat fee to mill a head or surface a block. Consequently, there’s a lot more opportunity for profit because you’re

not competing against the shop down the street.

Manual Or CNC? If you are considering a new equipment purchase and are debating

whether to go with traditional manual controls or CNC, your equipment supplier may offer the capability to upgrade from manual to CNC at a later date. It’s usually less expensive to go with CNC now rather than later because costs usually go up over time. If money is an issue, buying a manual machine and delaying a CNC upgrade may seem like your best option for now. But why would you want to postpone the labor savings that CNC offers by putting off a CNC upgrade to a later date? You should cash in on the savings that CNC offers by going with CNC from the get go. One equipment supplier said the difference in cost between a manual machining center and a CNC machining center is about $40,000 ($100,000 versus $140,000). That sounds like a lot of money, and it is. But consider this: a skilled machinist earns $50,000 to $60,000 a year (wages plus benefits). The labor savings can add up very quickly if a CNC machine multiplies the work he can do, or it can save money by reducing the number of employees needed to do the work. Either way, you come out ahead.

CNC Retrofits Older equipment can often be retrofitted with CNC controls to automate certain processes, but you won’t get all of the advantages that a new CNC machine can provide. You’ll be limited by the capabilities and accuracy of the old machine. Most new CNC machines use precision ball screws and have better materials on the ways to improve machining accuracy. The cost of a retrofit usually starts around $5,000 and goes up from there depending on what the retrofit includes and who installs it. Some retrofits can add features such as the Circle 20 for more information 20 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

14-21 CNC 4/11/14 3:04 PM Page 21

CNC Feature The use of CNC shop equipment is growing because it offers so many advantages, including a high level of accuracy and repeatability. Photo Courtesy RMC Engine Rebuilding Equipment, Inc.

ability to digitize the profile of a work piece, or to automatically control tool zeroing and positioning.

Maintenance & Upgrades Like any type of shop equipment, CNC machines require a certain amount of maintenance. Certain components need to be cleaned and oiled on a regular basis, filters have to be changed and backlash should be checked and adjusted as needed once a year (recommended but not mandatory). Backlash is the amount of play in the machine tooling. It needs to be minimized to assure consistency and accuracy. A laser is used to verify machine travel in all axis directions, and a correction table is generated so

the control software can compensate tooling travel as needed. This is usually performed by a service technician as part of the service contract. Some equipment suppliers provide

a free service contract for a given period of time after the initial purchase. Others charge a flat fee for their annual service contracts -- which may or may not include software upgrades. â–

Circle 21 for more information 21

EFI Feature

22-28 EFI Tuning Feature 4/11/14 3:02 PM Page 22

Engine Tuning Tips for EFI Four Fab Hints for Dealing with Common EFI Scenarios



n today’s high tech world of computerized everything, it can be a challenge for even some seasoned engine builders and tuners to get the hang of punching buttons on a keyboard in exchange for twisting a screwdriver. While nothing about actually tuning the engines has changed much in the past 100 years or so, our ability to measure, monitor and implement changes to the engine’s tune up have greatly improved. Since most engine builders out there have come into contact with electronic fuel injection (EFI) by now and quite a few have already experienced some kind of tuning on these systems for high performance engines, we thought it might be a good time to offer a few helpful hints to make getting to the next level of overall quality just a bit easier. Here are four helpful hints for dealing with scenarios that commonly rear their ugly heads during tuning an EFI system.

1. Tuning For Economy on the Dyno With the ever increasing fuel prices, and no sign of dropping in sight, more and more people are talking about re-tuning their engines to get better economy. One of the major benefits to an EFI system is the ability to have 22 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

good engine running characteristics in a variety of categories, all at the same time. When the engine is at full power, the calibration can be set to give good performance and reliability, and when cruise situations are entered, the "economy" part of the tune can take over, providing great gas mileage. While tuning on a dynamometer is an invaluable process for gaining maximum power from an engine, many Electronic Fuel Injection systems are some of the most complex components in the modern automobile. They are also some of the most rewarding to the driver if tuned correctly.

builders think that is the end of its usefulness. In fact, the best way to gain great fuel economy is also done on the dyno! At EFI University, we frequently get asked questions like "what is the best A/F ratio for my engine?" The answer to that question is extremely complicated because of all the factors involved, such as: "What exactly are you trying to accomplish?" This is important because the right A/F ratio depends on whether you are looking for power, economy or emissions. What is correct for one application

23 EPWI_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:44 PM Page 23

Circle 23 on Reader Service Card for more information

22-28 EFI Tuning Feature 4/11/14 3:02 PM Page 24

EFI Feature

Power Problem: Let's say we measure our car's power consumption going down the highway at 60 MPH and observe that it takes about 20 HP to maintain steady speed. To get to 20 HP, let's also assume the throttle needed to be about 20% open and around 45 KPA of manifold pressure. We might find out the engine runs smoothly at 14.7:1 A/F, and also at 15.5:1 A/F, and even at 17:1 A/F, but begins to slightly misfire at 17.5:1. The logical thing to do would be to richen the mixture just slightly so that no misfires show up, and that should produce maximum fuel economy, right? Not necessarily! The problem is, that leaning the mixture out too far can reduce the power output of the engine, without causing a misfire, but in order to produce the same 20 HP we needed earlier, we might now need as much as 40% throttle opening and 65 KPA of manifold pressure at the same A/F ratio. This means that even though the actual "ratio" of air to fuel is the same, the actual quantity of air and fuel required to get back to 20 HP is greater, resulting in poor economy. Dyno and road tests have shown consistently that leaning the engine to approximately 5% less than peak torque for any given cell in the fuel map results in the best fuel economy. While often times the absolute best economy might not be realized until 8% or 10% power has been sacrificed, there is an very small difference in the fuel savings between the 5% value and the 8-10% values, but there is a very large difference is the fuel savings from max power to 95%.

will not be right for another. When it comes to economy, it is important to recognize the fact that when the engine is operated in the range of speeds and loads where economy is important, the engine will not produce enough heat to damage any components, so a much leaner mixture can be used than when under full power. In fact, even leaner than Stoichiometric is desirable in this circumstance! The question becomes then..."How lean is too lean?" If you can't do any real damage to the engine from leaning it out, then why not simply go as lean as you possibly can without getting any misfires? Part of the answer lies in the fact that you need a certain amount of power to keep your vehicle moving. Typically, there is a large range of A/F ratios that will produce reasonably close to the same power output of the engine, so choosing one to make power is pretty easy. Once you go outside this window, (either too lean or too rich) the power drops significantly. However, when this happens, the engine may no longer make enough Circle 24 for more information 24 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

22-28 EFI Tuning Feature 4/11/14 3:02 PM Page 25

EFI Feature power to sustain the vehicle speed in that same cell location on the fuel map.

2. Tuning Ignition Timing Tables Whether you are tuning an engine on an engine dyno or a chassis dyno, you should always make sure that it gets tuned to the proper amount of ignition timing. The best way to do this is to use a steady state holding pattern on the dyno and hold the engine to a specific RPM. Then load the engine to whatever site you wish to tune and record the instantaneous power readings. When you make a change to add or subtract ignition timing, you will normally see a corresponding change in power output. Using an onboard or aftermarket knock sensor to check for detonation is the easiest way to find the maximum allowable ignition advance. However, if you do not

have access to one, here is another way to get pretty close. Advance the timing until maximum power is reached and begins to fall off when more timing is added. From there, back off the ignition advance one or two degrees and set it there. Once you have made a few hard pulls on the engine at this setting, shut it off and remove the spark plugs. Inspect them for obvious signs of detonation or erosion. Pay careful attention to the J-shaped ground strap. You will notice that somewhere on the strap it begins to change color. Ideally, when the proper timing is set, there will be enough heat in the combustion chamber to make the color change at about the center of the strap. If it changes more out towards the end of the strap, then there is not enough heat, and more advance is needed. Conversely, if the color change is near the bottom where the strap joins the plug, then

take some ignition advance out in order to start the burn later and transfer more heat out the exhaust!

3. Using Ignition Timing to Stabilize Idle When tuning a small displacement engine with very large injectors, you may have trouble establishing a good solid idle. This can also happen with engines using large duration camshafts with considerable overlap period where the inlet manifold signal strength is erratic and hard to pin down an exact reading. When you run into a situation like this, there are a few things that can make life just a little bit easier. First, always make sure that your ECU is getting full battery voltage, if not more from the alternator. The ECU will have a much harder time staying consistent if the supply voltage is not up to par. The injector battery voltage offset can also be inconsistent and this makes

Circle 25 for more information 25

22-28 EFI Tuning Feature 4/11/14 3:02 PM Page 26

EFI Feature

While tuning on a dynamometer is an invaluable process for gaining maximum power from an engine, many builders think that is the end of its usefulness. In fact, the best way to gain great fuel economy is also done on the dyno!

properly supplying fuel to the engine difficult at best. Second, use a little more ignition

advance at idle than normal to help the engine produce slightly more torque and keep itself running a little better. When the timing values are very low or close to TDC at idle

the engine can be a little lazy and this causes a kind of “rolling� idle condition, especially when coupled with a lightweight flywheel with low inertia. Lastly, when tuning for idle quality using either a stepper motor or an Idle Air Control valve a common mistake is for tuners to either forget to check or to set the throttle stop incorrectly. If the throttle opening is too large the idle quality will suffer because in order to achieve a particular target idle speed the valve will have a lot of range to open up and increase airflow, but not a lot of ability to close off the air supply and slow down the engine because so much air is already getting past the throttle itself. I like to try and maintain a steady idle at my target speed and have the idle control valve working at about 25-30% of its capability when the engine is fully warmed up. You can play around a little and see what works best for your engine, but typically values under about 10% valve capacity won’t leave enough room to solve an idle overshoot problem.

4. Tuning Forced Induction Engines Tuning a forced induction engine on a dyno can be a daunting task. Trying to tune an engine that will make lots of boost and a ton of Circle 26 for more information 26 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

22-28 EFI Tuning Feature 4/11/14 3:02 PM Page 27

EFI Feature larger the numbers in your fuel tables will need to be. â–

power can be even more challenging. These engines tend to make so much power when they come on to the boost that they often will rip right through the RPM ranges you are trying to tune. This can be very frustrating to a novice tuner. One thing you can do to help out, is to disconnect the tubes that lead from the turbocharger to the intake manifold. This will prevent any boost from reaching the engine, so that you can tune it as you would a naturally aspirated engine. Just operate the dyno so that it will hold you at a constant engine speed while you adjust the load with movement of the throttle and tune all the sites as best you can. Once you have tuned all the sites for wide-open throttle in a naturally aspirated form, you can connect the boost tubes again and begin tuning the boost sites. If you have an adjustable waste-gate or boost regulator, turn it down as low as it will go and tune the lower boost sites first and gradually work your way up. If your turbocharger has the ability to use a compressor speed sensor you can pay attention to the speeds reached during the run to make sure you are not exceeding the manufacturer’s recommended maximums. This is rare, but it could happen and it’s worth taking a look to avoid premature turbocharger failure. When done properly, the shape of the fuel curve under boost should closely match that of the engine while naturally aspirated. It will simply use more fuel, or higher numbers in the map. The reason for this is because the engine's

volumetric efficiency for any given engine speed is determined by the combination of cylinder head, camshaft, displacement, etc. Some ECUs use different values to represent fuel quantities in their base fuel tables, so always be sure to follow the recommended procedure for your particular system but as a general rule of thumb, the more intake pressure you run the more fuel the engine will consume so the

As the founder and senior instructor of EFI University, Lake Havasu City, AZ, Ben Strader manages the quality and flow of information that is taught in the EFI-101 and EFI Advanced classes. He is a specialist in the theory and operation of the internal combustion engine and its related systems including electronic engine management. Ben has more than 18 years of experience tuning and troubleshooting EFI systems, and has published a book "How to Build and Tune Custom EFI Systems" for CarTech. EFI University has various handson opportunities to learn the ropes of tuning engines using electronic fuel injection, as well as some advanced level classes for better understanding the engine blueprinting process and turbocharging concepts. For more information, visit the website at

Circle 27 for more information 27

28 Web_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:43 PM Page 28

29 Green Cover_Layout 1 4/11/14 3:01 PM Page 29


Sponsored by:

PG.30 PG.34 PG.37 PG.40

Green Strategies

30,32 Green Guide Feat 1 4/11/14 3:01 PM Page 30

Waste Removal Recycling and Green Options for the Engine Shop BY MICHAEL FREEZE MFREEZE@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM


ecycle or dispose. What’s the difference? It’s just trash, right?

Not really. The old adage of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” profoundly rings true in automotive aftermarket’s own recycling niché: engine building. We know you set aside your metals from a wide range of vehicle repairs and modifications, but when it comes to your recycling, do you have a separate bin (as you do — hopefully — in your home) for “paper,” “plastic” and box just for “metals?” Or like some shops, do you have “a guy” that comes by and takes it off your hands for a “reasonable” fee? Overlooking your precious metals can cause you to leave some extra money on the revenue table. Engine-building shops have taken notice. For Matthew Dickmeyer, who owns Dickmeyer Automotive Engineering in South Whitley, IN, recycling makes garbage collections an easier process. “We recycle everything,” he said. “Especially the cardboard for the size of our shop.” After his recycling efforts, Dickmeyer’s 5,000-square foot building normally puts out less non-recyclable trash than most average U.S. families. Finding recycling materials through the shop’s waste, he said, is just a part of running an efficient shop. Core recycling and auto wrecking service, A&A Midwest CEO Scott Stolberg noted that many shops should mirror Dickmeyer’s efforts, particularly with precious metals. “One of the things we see in many businesses is they fail to segregate 30 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

their commodities. If they are mixed, the values drop automatically. It’s that simple,” Stolberg said. “It is amazing how some managers and owners realize that they can send that scrap to the recycling place themselves.” Every year, nearly 27 million cars end up on the recycling block. According to the United States Council on Automotive Research, 80 percent of recyclable materials are found in each vehicle. Even at that point, the 20 percent that consists of auto shredder residue (rubber, plastic, wood, paper, glass, etc.) are disposed in landfills each year to the tune of 5 million tons. Stolberg said A&A Midwest communicates the virtues of core recycling and so far, the engine guys are listening. “The PERs do a good job because they recycle in such a high volume. They know you should separate your cast iron from your steel, because cast iron is worth a premium,” he explained. “Pistons are a different aluminum than manifolds and timing covers. They are worth a premium

because they are a high-nickel content aluminum. A piston manufacturer would pay a premium for that scrap if he could get just pistons. But if it is mixed, it is a different issue.” For small shops like Dickmeyer’s, the savings from recycling is noticed and offers an immediate impact. But bigger shops, Stolberg noted, sometimes miss the bigger picture. “There is a truck dealer I’ve visited not too long ago,” he explained. “They spent $2,000 per April on their garbage service. Their garbage. I looked at their cardboard. Before it cost them $4800 to buy a bailer to take away the cardboard. “By recycling, they cut their bill by $1,000 and started getting $200 in revenue. So now, they are $1,200 ahead. Before that, the owner just assumed it was the cost of doing business. He never realized how much he actually spent to get rid of just the cardboard.” Another problem that is common in recycling is metal theft. With the demand of nonferrous metals like

Ways To Protect Your Precious Shop Metal • Lock up property or take it off job site • Add lights to area and protect in locked fence area • Establish a relationship and become a member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) • If you are a victim of metal theft, file a report

31 EQ_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:43 PM Page 31

Circle 31 on Reader Service Card for more information

30,32 Green Guide Feat 1 4/11/14 3:01 PM Page 32

Waste Feature copper and aluminum on the rise, an engine repair shop is a prime source of revenue for thieves looking for big money returns. Stolberg says a quick way to curb this problem is for owners and managers to simply realize the worth of their unwanted material. “You have to treat the stuff like it has value,” he warned. “For example, I got a call from a company that is going out of business. They were going to scrap all the fixtures. We told them that we’d give them the (recycle) box that Tuesday night. But don’t load it until Wednesday morning, so we can pick it up Wednesday afternoon. “Because if you leave it out overnight, you’re going to come in the morning to find your scrap gone. With theft, I lose out because I’m coming to get a box full of scrap that’s empty. And the business loses out because someone stole their stuff. The moral: you’ve got to take care of your scrap.” A&A Midwest and other similar organizations have stressed that to minimize metal theft, three groups must work collectively: recyclers, the theft victims and law enforcement. “Recyclers need to know who are the people selling the scrap and how they got the material in the first place,” Stolberg said. “Law enforcement needs to take the crime seriously to prosecute the perpetrators when they catch them. Plus, the victims need to secure their property.” While metals can reveal a considerable amount of savings, they’re not the only resources that can help shop owners increase efficiency. Parts washers found in shops today are becoming increasingly innovative with new lines of self-contained recycling. Companies such as Safety-Kleen, Garymills Corp. and Eastern Precision provide such types of aqueous parts washers from manual and automatic to solvent-based and ultrasonic. “Shop owners are very much aware of this equipment for years,” said Dave Weaver, SystemOne sales and service manager for Eastern Precision. SystemOne is Eastern Precision’s brand of recycling cleaning machines for light-to-medium duty parts cleaning. By using such a parts washer system in general, Weaver said, owners rid themselves of major headaches by 32 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

COMMON SOURCES OF RECYCLED METALS FERROUS Ferrous metals are magnetic and are often collected in scrap yards by a large electromagnet attached to a crane, sweeping across piles of scrap to grab magnetic objects. Ferrous scrap comes from sources such as: • Mill scrap (from primary processing) • Used construction beams, plates, pipes, tubes, wiring, and shot • Old automobiles and other automotive scraps • Boat scrap, railroad scrap, and railcar scrap • Miscellaneous scrap metal

NONFERROUS Nonferrous metals can also be recycled from captured particle emissions from metal primary or secondary production facilities. Aluminum is the most widely recycled nonferrous metal. The major sources of nonferrous scrap are industrial or new scrap, and obsolete scrap. Industrial or new scrap may include: • Aluminum left over when can lids are punched out of sheets • Brass from lock manufacturing • Copper from tubing manufacturing Obsolete scrap, the other major source, may include: • Copper cables • Copper household products • Copper and zinc pipes and radiators • Zinc from die-cast alloys in cars • Aluminum from used beverage cans • Aluminum from building siding • Platinum from automobile catalytic converters • Gold from electronic applications • Silver from used photographic film • Nickel from stainless steel • Lead from battery plates

Source: Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries recycling the cleaning solvent and eliminating waste as well as the chance of liability after it has left their business. “The old industry standard was that the service would come out of the truck and give you 12 gallons of solvent in a 30-gallon container. Then took your stuff away,” he said. “You signed a manifest to say that you’re liable if they roll their truck and spill it.” Other companies have taken upon the responsibilities of handling waste. For instance, Safety-Kleen provides a “certificate of assurance” guarantee when handling waste by covering cleanup costs in case of a spill or accident. Having to deal with handling and recycling waste around the engine shop is not a secret, but finding the

right procedures and methods on recycling doesn’t have to be, Stolberg said. With the right amount of education and cognizance, shop owners can use recycling as a way to maximize their revenue and cut expenses. “There is a much better awareness of recycling today across all businesses,” Stolberg said. “One of the things people want to do is be efficient. When it comes to recycling, people will listen. People need to get value from the effort. And once they do, they should let the world know it. From a business perspective, take a look at your garbage. You’ve got to be able to learn what has value and what doesn’t. Know what is recyclable.” ■

33 Eastern P_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:42 PM Page 33

Circle 33 on Reader Service Card for more information

Green Strategies

34-36 Thinking Green Feat 2 4/11/14 3:00 PM Page 34

Green Thinking


Discovering Ways for Using Less to Do More


here are several memes associated with “going green.” For some, an image of a person donning a tide-dye shirt while holding up a peace sign may come to mind. For shop owner Stan White, that person’s in clean business attire. “A nicely dressed woman comes to my shop with a smile on her face,” said White who owns RLD Performance in Temecula, CA. “I’ll ask her ‘How may I help you?’ She replies, ‘I’m here for an audit.’” Those are the words that give shop managers and owners like White pause. Located in California, engine shops like White’s go through

an intensive inspection by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resource Board (CARB) gauging the businesses’ energy efficiency. The compliance tests cover a wide array of issues for regulation including battery storage, floor drains, parts cleaners and wastewater. Rest assured, White sees that his shop is in full compliance with U.S. and state code, although it’s not exactly a favorite part of his ownership. “Regulation is not fun. We are getting so overregulated,” White said about his shop that deals in research and development for various

racing teams. “We have been practicing green forever. We use California-legal fluids and dispose of our waste in a legal, green manner. As a matter of routine and habit because we have to do it.” While having the seal of green approval provides many benefits for the environment, it also brings a set of problems for some engine shops, White noted. “It’s not the same as it was 20, 30 years ago. You have to maneuver around regulations and it’s hard to do it efficiently,” he said. “Now, you’re tied up with audits and visits from people hounding you. Then,

34-36 Thinking Green Feat 2 4/11/14 3:00 PM Page 35

Green Thinking you have to search for new products because the ones you got will be illegal by January 1. You take away time from manufacturing to deal with regulation stuff. Taking time from the actual ability to produce and putting it in areas that I don’t believe in.” While adhering to government compliance adds an unwanted stress to shop owners and managers, some use it as an opportunity to realize improvement for their business. More than 10 years ago, Matthew Dickmeyer, owner of Dickmeyer Automotive Engineering in South Whitley, IN, reached an energy epiphany. “Owning less is the same as making more and in an industry that has its up and downs, it’s either feast or famine,” Dickmeyer said. “For a shop, it can be up or down, but you still have to know how to make your $40,000 every month. That’s a scary thing to think about.” For starters, Dickmeyer’s 5,000 square-foot engine shop, which he shares with his wife Jennifer, was built in 1947. It proved difficult to provide heat while energy costs were burning a hole through the shop’s pockets. So, Dickmeyer took his hobby of chopping wood and decided to add his pastime to benefit the shop. “We put a wood furnace in the shop rather than an oil burner. An average shop of my size uses a 55-gallon drum of oil per week. I use that in a month,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, you have to gather and cut the wood during the summer months but it saves us $10,000 a year. It’s like getting a $10,000 raise.” Dickmeyer said the wood burner is similar to building an engine; instead of torque, the heat is the output. Once the wood fuels the burner, a squirrel-cage fan blows the hot air

Circle 34 for more information

into the garage space. Dickmeyer said the process worked so efficiently, that it helped his parts washer tank. “It’s a safe distance away from the tank, but it heats it up, and that helps clean the parts much better,” he said. “And it’s helpful in the winter time when cleaning a set of heads. When you wash them off, they need to dry thoroughly, especially iron heads or they start to rust immediately. “I know, it sounds crazy, but you can blow the heads off then set them on top of the wood stove and they dry off within 45 seconds. It sounds funny, but I take advantage of those types of conditions.” From the green perspective, Dickmeyer also realized he was on to something. Studies show distressed trees are producing methane gases more than 80,000 times that of ambient levels. For reference, the methane found in a 60-tree

34-36 Thinking Green Feat 2 4/11/14 3:00 PM Page 36

Green Thinking Taking advantage of the heat generated from a wood burner in the shop to dry cleaned heads and other components is one way to get more out of your resources.

forest can burn the equivalent of 40 gallons of gasoline. Dickmeyer has also taken his philosophy with energy and applied it to the shop’s finances. Instead of relying on bank notes and lines of credit, Dickmeyer insists on buying all of his equipment with cash. It’s just a part of how he’s using less to do more, he said. “A lot of times, it’s making something out of nothing. As time goes by, it becomes something that is a part of the process,” Dickmeyer said. “We build efficient engines in an efficient shop and it worked well. We saved a ton. We have been able to work and have a business that is well within our means.” For Dickmeyer, wood burning served as an alternative source for his shop. In a larger scale, White has worked toward an alternative source for our automobiles. He may have a few bones to pick with government regulators, but one subject has them at least on the same page: natural gas. According to the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, renewable natural gas curbs pollution by using landfill methane that, in most cases, would burn off into the open air and decreases pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions as transportation fuel. In addition to its automotive engineering services, RLD Performance also manufactures compressed natural gas refueling station compressor systems. White said he decided to venture into this business while working with a German racing team a few years ago. Surprisingly, he found that Europe didn’t recognized most alternative fuel categories.

36 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

“E85 is not natural. Propane is man made. There is only one green fuel. And that’s natural gas,” he recalled. White was working with the company while some members of the European Union were undergoing a phase of financial uncertainty. As a result, the partnering racing team was losing sponsors and unable to continue their relationship. “I realized at that point that (the U.S.) did not supply a compressor infrastructure,” White said. “That’s why I got into the compressor game.” The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, as well as many groups across the country, has an initiative to equip government and fleet vehicles to run on natural gas. It fits perfectly with the goal of White’s company that offers 33, 55 and 94 SCFM Germanengineered Sauer-based systems. “What’s better than 130 octane fuel?” White said. “Natural gas is proven to be safe. We have an abundance of supply. Talk about green and clean. How clean is natural gas? Gasoline has eight times more carbon and diesel is 16 times dirtier than methane.” White said having natural gas is a win-win due to the return on his company’s investment coupled with the need to cut greenhouse gases from the environment and with the backing of the people and government, natural gas could be a regular part of our mobile society. “If Congress got together and said, ‘Let’s get behind natural gas,’ that would put money in our pockets,” he said. “For the first time in my life in this country, I have seen a mature technology that is emerging, which is rare. Natural gas will save consumers a lot of money and time by spending less on fuel to go to work, go on vacation, do whatever they need to do. The money saved on fuel will make the quality of life go up. That’s what I want to see.” ■

SAVINGS IN THE SHOP The Alliance to Save Energy ( promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and energy security for businesses. The ASE began in response to a very critical period in our nation’s energy history – the OPEC Oil Embargo crisis of 1977 – and continues its mission today: to create an energy-efficient world. Three and a half decades later, the Alliance is still advocating for the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit the environment, businesses, the economy and national security. Some energy-saving tips for shops from the ASE include: Wrap it Up: To save energy and money on heating water for your shop’s parts washers, wrap the water storage tank in a speciallydesigned “blanket” to retain the heat. Invest in Strippers: Use power strips in offices, shop lobby, etc., and turn off devices and lights that are not in use to cut standby power. Filtration: A dirty shop furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool. Bright Idea: Reduce energy use from about a third to as much as 80% with today’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs. The Alliance will host the seventh Energy Efficiency Global Forum from May 20-21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. This gathering includes more than 60 thought leaders who are some of the industry’s most powerful voices and energy efficiency heads from three major world economies. For more information, visit:

The Parts Collector


Recycled Engine Parts are Saving Builders’ Profit Margin


he list of reclaimed bare engine blocks on the Kenmonth Engine Company website ( is enough to warm the heart of any vintage vehicle collector. There’s an AMC 401-cid big-block for $800, five 1959 thru 1966 Buick “Nailheads” for $450 each, a 390 for a tail-finned ‘59 Caddy for $450, a 216-cid Chevy “Stovebolt 6” with applications as far back as 1942, a 218/230 Chrysler flathead six that would fit right in a Chrysler Town & Country, and a hot rod classic 1948-1953 Ford flathead V8 will set you back $500. D.K. Kenmonth says that all blocks listed are cleaned, magnafluxed and inspected. “They are guaranteed to a maximum .040 to .060 bore to available pistons,” he told Engine Builder magazine at the SEMA Show. “It’s our no hassles program: no core charge, no wasting time in wrecking yards, no chargebacks to your customer when his Internetsourced core junks out.” Kenmonth’s company has been providing professional automotive machine services for over 50 years. He says that he can even find collectors engines he doesn’t have listed and can sometimes supply “matching-numbers” engines for $200 above regular prices. If you have a car like a Corvette or Mustang where matching numbers increase the vehicle’s value, $200 is a song. Kenmonth was at the November SEMA Show with a bunch of engine parts in cool-looking old-fashioned boxes. He has been collecting obsolete engine parts for as long as he can remember. He says that it took him decades to accumulate those boxes and the NOS (new old stock) and NORS (new old replacement stock) engine parts inside them. He has parts from the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and up. “I spent a long time working as an engine parts specialist and I started keeping the parts that we never sold,” Kenmonth explained. “The parts manufacturers would discontinue an item and I just kept them, rather than throw them away. I moved them off the front line to an obsolete line code. Now, I have a lot of engine parts that collectors and restoration shops need to fix old motors.” Kenmonth’s grandfather Alton S. “Kenny” Kenmonth worked as a wagon jobber in Los Angeles in

the early years of the 20th Century. He sold Vitaloy pistons and Pacific piston rings out of the back of his car. He made face-to-face sales calls on the shop owners there who rebuilt engines. “Alton would pick up the piston/rod assemblies, take them to his garage for cleaning and rebushing, cut the ring grooves for G.I. spacers and return the ready-to-install assemblies. “In those days the engines were built in the chassis,” D.K. emphasized. “Cylinder boring was done with the engine blocks still sitting in the chassis. The crankshafts

Circle 37 for more information 37

Green Strategies

37-38 Green feature 3 collector 4/11/14 2:59 PM Page 37

37-38 Green feature 3 collector 4/11/14 2:59 PM Page 38

Green Feature

were also turned in the chassis.” Alton Kenmonth built his business up during the Great Depression. At the start of World War II, Gen. George S. Patton asked him to be a consultant. He was asked to start up a rebuilding plant for the Army ordinance supply chain to rebuild Willys Jeep engines for the war. After WWII, Kenny went back to engine rebuilding with his Piston Supply Co. He and Donald Kenmonth — D.K’s dad — ran things. In the early ‘50s, they linked up with the Dana family. “Dana didn’t want to build engines, so they asked my grandfather and my father to supply engines, crankshafts and cylinder heads for their Sacramento operation. By 1959, Piston Supply owned Dana Motors. “By the early ‘60s, we had nine branch facilities around California and Nevada,” D.K. recalled. “We stocked engines, cylinder heads and engine parts.”

building engines in Sacramento until 1981,” he recalled. “Then, we focused on machining parts and selling master kits — a kit being a crankshaft, bearings, pistons, rings, cam, lifters, timing, pump, gaskets — everything needed to put a short block together.” When Donald retired in 1998, D.K. bought the company and ran it until 2012 when he sold distribution at Motor Warehouse and Commercial Warehouse Center (his factory warehouse) to National Performance Warehouse (NPW) of Miami. D.K. was NPW’s VP of D.K. Kenmonth’s family has been in the engine Engine Components during business since 1933 and now he is selling the the transition. He also kept parts they saved and collected all those years. the Dana Motors corporate. He now runs Kenmonth In 1968, following Kenny’s Engine Co. and California Obsolete passing, the company split and D.K. Engine Parts (CAOEP). “We supply and his dad moved to Sacramento NPW locations with machine work to operate as Motor Warehouse. In and discontinued, hard to find 1974, D.K got out of college and internal engine parts,” he said. joined the business. “We continued Continued on page 43

ARMEX® Baking Soda Blast Media — Discover the Difference Case Study:

Engine Parts Cleaning Application Overview: Clean aluminum cylinder heads without leaving particles behind in critical passageways risking engine failure and increasing warranty issues. Process: ARMEX Maintenance Formula XL at 50-60 psi in contained cabinet system. ARMEX Turbine Formula at 45 psi for heavily burned in carbon. Followed by a water rinse. Results: Achieved a higher level of clean, lowered process time and energy consumption. Reduced labor, no post process detailing required. Eliminated warranty issues due to media lodging. “We’re saving money, time and cutting hazardous waste.”

APPLICATIONS USE ON: Engine parts, aluminum components, composite materials, and chrome REMOVE: Paint, grease oil, burned in carbon, and corrosion.

BENEFITS – Safe on most surfaces even glass – Rinse residues from surfaces and passageways – Safer for workers and the environment

For further case studies and more information go to or call 800-332-5424 ARMEX® and ARM & HAMMER® are registered trademarks of Church & Dwight Company. ISO9002 Circle 38 for more information 38 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

39 Safety kleen_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:42 PM Page 39

Circle 39 on Reader Service Card for more information

Alternative Fuels

40-42 Green Guide Feat 4z 4/11/14 2:57 PM Page 40

Propane: A Gas on the Rise BY ED SUNKIN EDITOR


he issue of the automotive and heavy-duty industry moving toward more alternative fuel useage will always be an important topic of discussion for the rebuilding industry. And, no matter which side of the fence you are on regarding a reduction in petroleum in today’s vehicles, alternative fuels may provide more engine-related opportunities to your business. In issues past, Engine Builder magazine has taken a look at numerous alternative fuels and their impact on engine builders, including natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, etc. In this year’s Green Strategies Guide, we turn our focus toward propane (known as autogas) as a viable alternative engine fuel that’s opening niche prospects for our industry. While the use of propane as a vehicle fuel is on the rise, many rebuilders and other engine specialists in the auto and truck industry have not serviced engines using autogas. But that is expected to change in the near future, as more fleets begin to operate their vehicles with propane-autogas.

Propane is a by-product of natural gas and petroleum, occurring naturally during domestic oil refining and natural gas processing. It is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, making it highly economical to store and transport. Propane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas). When used as an on-road engine fuel, it is called propane autogas. Source: 40 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

First off, you should know that there are basically two types of propane vehicles: dedicated and bifuel. Dedicated propane vehicles are designed to run only on propane, while bi-fuel propane vehicles have two separate fueling systems that enable the vehicle to use either propane or gasoline. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), propane vehicle's power, acceleration and cruising speed are similar to those of conventionally-fueled vehicles. The driving range for dedicated and bifuel vehicles is also comparable. Extra storage tanks can increase range, but the tank size and additional weight affect payload capacity. Low maintenance costs are one reason behind propane's popularity for use in light-duty vehicles, such as pickup trucks and taxis, and for heavy-duty vehicles, such as school buses (seen here). Propane's high octane rating (104 to 112 compared with 87 to 92 for gasoline) and low carbon and oil contamination characteristics have resulted in documented engine life of up to two times that of gasoline engines. Because the fuel's mixture (propane and air) is completely gaseous, cold start problems associated with liquid fuel are reduced. Compared with vehicles fueled with conventional diesel and gasoline, propane vehicles can produce lower amounts of harmful emissions, depending on vehicle type and drive cycle.

For more on how autogas can impact engine builders, we turned to Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Taylor said one of the biggest challenges for today’s engine builder regarding retrofitting an engine to operate on LPG is training. “Retrofitting or converting an engine to operate on propane autogas can be complicated if the engine builder has not received proper training regarding the systems and required installation processes and procedures,” Taylor said. “Today’s liquid propane injection systems are very similar to current automotive technology, but requires technicians to have some applicable knowledge regarding propane autogas as a motor fuel combined with high level expertise in installation, troubleshooting and diagnostics.” Taylor said if an engine builder is designing and developing a purpose built, gaseous fueled engine

40-42 Green Guide Feat 4z 4/11/14 2:57 PM Page 41

Alternative Fuels designed to operate with propane autogas as the primary fuel from scratch, there may be some modifications which are based solely on the characteristics of the fuel. “Modifications may include the engine block, heads, pistons and rings, valves and seats, intake manifold, injectors, fuel lines and the fuel delivery system as well as calibration and optimization requirements to ensure the engine operates at peak performance,” he said. “However, if an engine builder is converting an existing engine with a certified EPA- and/or CARB-compliant propane autogas system, typically the systems are ‘plug and play’ and do not involve major engine modifications outside of the installation of propane autogas injectors, fuel rails, fuel lines, fuel tank and some electrical components designed to ensure the engine performs at the highest level possible. Each manufacturer’s systems may vary slightly in components but major modifications to existing engine components are not required.” While Taylor said an engine builder

shop is not mandated to be EPA certified to perform LPG conversions, PERC does not condone or support the installation of any systems that have not secured the required EPA certification(s). “We encourage engine builders to seek out and work with certified systems manufacturers only. These reputable manufacturers have invested significant amounts of money and time required to obtain EPA emissions certification requirements and will provide the highest level of training, warranty and support for their products,” he said. Taylor and others belive that propane autogas and bi-fuel aftermarket conversions will continue to be a significant market niche for a number of reasons. “The high price of conventional fuels and increased maintenance and repair costs directly linked to the increased emissions equipment required to comply with EPA certification are the major contributing factors when fleets consider the switch to propane autogas conversions,”

Circle 41 for more information

Taylor said, adding suppliers like ICOM North America, IMPCO, Alliance Autogas, Clean Fuel USA and Bi-Phase now offer hundreds of certified systems and their businesses have experienced significant growth in lightduty, medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle conversions. While sales of dedicated and bi-fuel propane autogas certified systems have increased in all 50 states, significant increases are taking place in regions or states that offer incentives which offset initial conversion and operations costs. Taylor said currently, Texas, Florida and California are extremely supportive of alternative fuels expansion and offer very aggressive incentives which highly favor propane autogas conversions. Federal and state grant and incentives information can be found on the Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center at

Converting the Converters Taylor said engine shops looking to perform autogas conversions will 41

40-42 Green Guide Feat 4z 4/11/14 2:57 PM Page 42

Alternative Fuels discover that system complexity varies by manufacturer and requires engine specialist training to ensure the engine conversion is compliant once the process is completed. “Highly trained, experienced certified technicians typically can install a complete propane autogas conversion within eight hours,” he said. “Additional fuel tanks or vehicle modifications required to accommodate the equipment can lengthen or shorten the installation time period.” One of the biggest misconceptions regarding efficiency of LPG in automotive and heavy-duty truck engines is that propane doesn’t have the power of a comparable diesel engine. “While this is an appealing argument, propane autogas engines have proven they can actually outperform their diesel counterparts in most applications while providing a quieter, safer passenger compartment and eliminate all contamination and carcinogen concerns,” Taylor said. “Propane has an octane rating of 104 and power is not a challenge for our fuel.” Taylor explained for the most part, aftermarket engines which are converted to propane autogas do not require a turbocharger or supercharger. “If the engine builder is developing a purpose built gaseous fueled engine, a turbocharger or supercharger may be used to increase engine performance, improve air flow and fuel combustion while reducing engine emission.” he said. While increased engine longevity is reported in customer’s claims and feedback, PERC cannot validate longer engine life associated strictly to deployment of propane autogas fuel. “It is well documented that propane autogas is inherently a cleaner burning fuel during the combustion phase than gasoline or diesel and many fleets do report less engine wear and tear with propane compared to conventional fuels. One fact that we can cite and validate is that propane autogas does not require the complicated, extensive emissions equipment required by conventional fuels; therefore, fleets are reporting reduced operations costs 42 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

which translates into less maintenance and less downtime, which should support the claims for a longer lasting engine.”

Conversion Details Taylor explained that a gasoline engine conversion to a propane autogas systems vary in complexity. The average price range is $6,000-$12,000 and will depend on a number of factors which include the choice of OEM dedicated or aftermarket bi-fuel systems, engine family and class and the number of fuel tanks required. For now, diesel engine conversions to propane autogas is a new and developing field. There are no EPAand/or CARB-certified systems available for diesel engine conversions; however, PERC continues to pursue the development of this technology through the investment of research and testing funds with reputable companies who are pursuing this highly coveted product.

• American Alternative Fuels is a leader in bringing practical alternative fuel technology to the fleet vehicles of America. The organization researches and tests the latest fuel technologies to determine the most cost-effective and practical approach for various applications. Current options include LPG (Propane), CNG (Natural Gas) and electric high- and low-speed vehicles. • National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) is a pioneer in developing, managing, and promoting programs that focusses on improving energy independence and encouraging the use of cleaner transportation. The NAFTC provides alternative fuel vehicle and advanced technology vehicle training to mechanics and technicians. ■

For more information on propane autogas and other alternative fuels, check out the following sites. • The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) promotes the safe and efficient use of odorized propane gas. It accomplishes this through wide-ranging programs that support safety, training and the development and commercialization of promising propane technologies. • The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information about advanced transportation technologies. The AFDC offers unbiased info, data and tools related to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. e.html • A visionary company founded in 1993, CleanFUEL was the first in the U.S. industry to develop liquid propane fuel injection systems. For 20 years, the firm has maintained a reputation for providing safe, reliable and cost-effective vehicles, stations and dispensers that comply with environmental regulations.

ACT Expo Set to Address Alternative Fuel Usage Next month in Southern California — the epicenter of North America’s alternative fuel vehicle development market for the past 20 years — will play host to the Alternative Clean Transportation “ACT” Expo 2014. Now in its fourth year, the ACT Expo is one of the industry’s largest annual gathering, bringing together more than 3,000 attendees — fleets, technology companies, OEMs, fuel providers, infrastructure developers, and policymakers — for an in-depth discussion on the rapidly evolving clean transportation industry at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA, May 58. For information on registering, seminars and exhibitors, visit:

37-38 Green feature 3 collector 4/11/14 2:59 PM Page 43

Green Feature Continued from page 38

D.K. also found another niche selling NOS import parts for vintage Datsuns, Toyotas, Mitsubishis and so on. “I started buying lots of NOS import parts and, with the help of our computer, we were able to catalog them,” he said. “We have designed and built a website to present them to the industry.” D.K. says he has 165,000 obsolete part numbers in his computer. “We consider maybe 20,000 of those parts active (regular sellers),” he pointed out. “The other stuff is not very active. We may occasionally get a sale every two or three years, but it’s part of our service. With the Internet I’m hoping for exposure overseas. Maybe there are shops in Asia building old Datsun Roadsters?” Kenmonth feels the Internet has broadened the purchasing power of the consumer. “If you go back 30 years somebody looking for a Fiat part had to visit a machine shop or store and go through distribution channels to reach us because only

the store knew we had Fiat parts,” D.K. explained. “Now, all a customer has to do is Google Fiat parts. We couldn’t fight the Internet, so we joined it and designed a shopping cart website with 21st century search technology. You can type in ‘1955 331 Cadillac valves and the search engine will find those valves on my website because of the way we organized our parts.” California Obsolete Engine Parts has valves reaching back into the 1910’s. “I don’t even have catalogs on some of that stuff,” D.K. admitted. “About the earliest catalog I have is a 1939 FederalMogul book that goes back to around 1928 or so. So some of it, believe it or not, is knowing what you’re looking at. There are times when I have to open the box, take the part out of the box and try to figure out what it is by the specs, because there’s no catalog that exists.”

D.K. says he tries to specialize in the “sweet range,” that tends to be 1928-1975 in terms of old parts. “That’s the sweet spot,” he says. “We don’t get very many ‘80s engine builds, but occasionally we do and we have parts for those, also. It’s more by accident that we sometimes get parts for earlier or later applications.” If someone has a current motor, D.K.’s relationship with National Performance Warehouse (NPW) allows him to offer newer parts, as well. “I am best known as a West Coast distributor of engine parts,” said Kenmonth. “The California Obsolete Engine Parts end of it is very recent. Over the years, we’d see demand for obsolete parts and I found there was a big need for them. Suppliers like Egge Machine and Kanter have moved more into manufacturing, rather than buying lots of NOS engine parts. So, we’re in a good position in a not-socrowded niche called the obsolete engine parts industry.” ■

Circle 43 for more information 43

44 AutoCare_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:41 PM Page 44

Circle 44 on Reader Service Card for more information

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 45


Head Games: Don’t Gamble When Choosing Cylinder Heads



cylinder head is much more than a casting that tops off the block, holds the valves and forms the combustion chambers. The head works in combination with the camshaft, induction and exhaust systems to determine how the engine breathes, the engine's power curve and personality. The "right" cylinder head on an engine will deliver peak power in the RPM range where you want it. The engine will have good throttle response and produce the kind of torque and horsepower numbers you want. Head selection, therefore, is a key ingredient in building a winning performance engine. Let's start with the basics. Assuming you are going to choose an aftermarket cylinder head, you have to find out what's available for the engine you want to build. For popular engines like small block and big block Chevy, Ford and Chrysler engines, there are dozens of head configurations, brands and product lines from which you can choose. The selection can be so overwhelming

that sometimes it comes down to eenie, meenie, minee, moe to pick a head. Some people pick a set of cylinder heads based on name brand, previous experience or word-of-mouth recommendations. Some will shop around for the least expensive set of heads that promise

to meet their expectations. Others will make their selection based strictly on which set of heads claims the highest air flow Bolt-on horsepower for street performance engines (such as this Edelbrock head) take the guesswork out of choosing a performance head. 45

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 46

Heads Feature

numbers. But there's a lot more that should be considered when choosing a set of cylinder heads.

Determine The Venue

Heat reflecting thermal coatings applied to combustion chambers in aluminum heads improve thermal efficiency and horsepower.

46 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Circle 46 for more information

Price, performance and availability are all important considerations in the head selection process. But equally important is choosing a set of cylinder heads that are right for the engine and the application. Building a street performance engine is different than building a circle track engine, a drag engine, a marine engine, or a truck pull engine. Each type of application has its own unique requirements, so the heads have to have the right flow characteristics for that application. Basic considerations include such variables as engine displacement, compression ratio, camshaft lift and duration specifications, RPM range (where the engine should make the most horsepower and torque), and target horsepower (be realistic!).

47 EQ Cylinder Head_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:41 PM Page 47

Circle 47 on Reader Service Card for more information

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 48

Heads Feature

You also need to consider vehicle weight, type of transmission (manual or automatic), torque converter stall speed (if automatic), gearing (transmission and differential), and most importantly the application itself (street, street/strip, drag, circle track, road race, off-road, etc.). Street engines spend most of their time between idle and part throttle so they must have good low and midrange torque and throttle response to be drivable — especially in heavier cars with automatic transmissions. For this type of application, you want a set of heads with stock to moderately larger intake runner volumes to keep air velocity high. Peak valve lift is probably going to be no more than about half an inch with a typical street cam, so a set of heads that claims huge airflow numbers at extreme valve lifts would not be your best choice. Too much head can be counter productive in this type of application. A drag engine runs at full throttle for a quarter mile. For this kind of application, you want lots of valve lift, duration and airflow at high RPM. Bigger is better in terms of intake runner volumes, valve size and peak airflow numbers provided the engine has the cam, induction system and cubic inches (or boost pressure) to handle it. Circle track engines are usually rule constrained. Some tracks only allow cast iron heads depending on

the class. If we're talking small block Chevys, some rules only allow heads with stock port locations and stock 23 degree valve angles. Others may allow any head configuration with raised ports and shallower valve angles. A shallower valve angle helps unshroud the valve for more airflow and power. For circle track engines, heads that deliver good mid to high RPM throttle response and torque out of the corners will usually win more races than heads that deliver more peak RPM horsepower. Every cylinder head manufacturer offers a variety of different cylinder heads for this reason. They offer heads with various intake runner volumes, stock and raised port locations, various intake and exhaust port configurations, valve sizes, valve angles, combustion chamber volumes and spring pad sizes to accommodate a wide variety of possible applications. Some manufacturers concentrate on a narrow segment of the market (high end race only, street/strip, circle track, etc.) while others offer a broader range of products. The people who make aftermarket performance cylinder heads know their product lines and can provide the kind of guidance that's often needed to choose the right head combination. “The most common mistake people make is wanting the biggest head that will fit their engine,” said one head manufacturer we interviewed for this article. Other manufacturers agreed. “Bigger isn't always better. Just because a head makes a lot of power on Bubba's engine doesn't mean it's the right head for your engine.”

The Numbers Game All too often, the only thing people look at are flow numbers. Yes, flow numbers make horsepower, but you have to keep in mind how the flow numbers were determined on a flow bench. If you hog out the intake ports and shove the valve open far enough, many heads can deliver impressive flow numbers. But if those numbers are rated at .700 inches of valve lift and the engine you are building only has half an inch of valve lift, you are better off choosing a head that flows best at .400 to .500 inches of valve lift. According to one head manufacturer, good airflow numbers measured at .200, .400 and .500 inches of valve lift are the most important for a street performance engine. As for intake runner volume, generally speaking, smaller intake port volumes produce more low-end torque and throttle response while larger intake port volumes allow more flow at higher RPMs for peak horsepower numbers. But airflow also depends on runner height (raised ports typically flow better), the contour of the port (especially the profile of the short side radius where the runner flows into the bowl area above the valve), the cross-sectional area of the intake runner and its relationship to the size of the valve opening, the angle of the valve stem (shallower usually flows better), and Circle 48 for more information 48 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 49

Last year, Mike Androwick’s big-block head designs won the Northeast Dirt Modified championship. According to Androwick, one of the two chief advantages of using a low, 10-degree valve angle is that it yields a shallow combustion chamber. Source:

the angles on the valve seat and valve face. The shape of the combustion chamber can also influence airflow. Every head manufacturer and head porter has their own recipe for combining these factors to squeeze the best performance out of a given cylinder head. You can take two cylinder heads from different suppliers that have identical intake runner port volumes and valves and end up with very different airflow and horsepower numbers. Why? Because the profile of the intake runners in one head flow better than the other. Consequently, one set of heads may deliver 15 to 20 more horsepower on the same engine than a competitor's heads. When choosing a cylinder head

for a particular engine application, one of the first variables that has to be considered is engine displacement. Are you building a 350 with stock bore and stroke, or a 383 stroker or something bigger? The more cubic inches the engine has, the more airflow the heads have to deliver. A head with 180 or 185cc intake runners will work well on a typical 350 Chevy street engine that makes 400 to 450 horsepower. If it's a 383 stroker, you can probably go with 200cc intake runners. Putting a higher flow head with 220cc runners on a relatively stock 350 would be going in the wrong direction. On the other hand, if you're building a high revving race engine, or a big displacement Circle 49 for more information 49

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 50

Heads Feature stroker (over 400 inches), you could probably go with larger runners for increased airflow. Some aftermarket SB Chevy racing heads have intake runner volumes from 240 to 270cc or more! If you're building a big block Chevy street performance engine, heads with 300 to 320cc intake runners will probably work best. Again, the larger the displacement, the more intake volume and airflow the engine needs. On the other hand, if you're building a 565 cubic inch big block stroker motor, you'll probably want heads with 330 to 340cc intake runner volumes. If it's a drag motor, you can go even bigger, maybe 350 to 360cc with a CNC-ported head. It all depends on the cam, RPM range and where you want the engine to make the most power and torque.

Aluminum vs. Cast Iron Aluminum heads are lighter than cast iron, saving maybe 25 to 30 lbs. per head depending on the application. In a 3500 to 4500 lb. street car, that's not a lot of weight savings, but in a 2,500 lbs. race car it is. Even so, lighter is usually considered better for performance. Aluminum heads are easier to machine than cast iron because the metal is softer, and the heads are easier to repair because aluminum can be TIG welded

to fix cracks and other damage. Cracks in cast iron can be drilled and pinned, or even furnace welded, but the latter is more difficult and requires a high level of skill and experience to prevent repeat cracking. Aluminum may be your only choice if you want a custom billet head. Billet aluminum heads can be made for almost anything, but are very expensive because of all the machine work that is required to design and fabricate the head. This is what the big boys use on many top fuel dragsters and some Pro Stock mountain motors because nothing else will work. We've also seen some very slick billet aluminum heads for diesel engines used in Super Stock Pulling Tractors. Aluminum conducts heat faster than cast iron. This helps cool the engine and allows a higher compression ratio with less risk of preignition or detonation — but it also sucks heat out of the combustion chamber and actually reduces combustion efficiency somewhat. At high RPM, there's less time per combustion event for heat to escape through the cylinder head so the loss in thermal efficiency is not as great. Applying a metallic-ceramic thermal coating to the combustion chambers can improve heat retention and thermal efficiency. Some who use these type of thermal barrier coatings say they have gained 30 to 40 horsepower on the dyno over uncoated heads on the same engine. On a street engine, cast iron heads help an engine reach operating temperature more quickly after a cold start (good for emissions and cold drivability), while retaining more heat for improved fuel economy and thermal efficiency. Most cast iron heads are also less expensive than aluminum heads because the metal is less expensive.

Go with the Flow A common question that's often asked is whether CNC ported heads outperform as-cast heads? It depends on the head. If the intake runner profiles of an as-cast head are identical to those of a fully CNC-ported head, both heads should flow exactly the same. There may be subtle differences in airflow based on the surface finish in the ports, but basically the numbers should not differ significantly. That said, most CNC-ported heads are marketed as offering a significant advantage over the typical ascast head. CNC heads can start out as rough castings which are then machined to final dimensions, or as cast heads (stock or performance) which are then reworked by CNC machining to increase intake and exhaust runner volumes and/or reshape the runner profile for more airflow. You usually pay more for CNC heads because of the extra machine work that's done to them. But if you can get the same performance from an as-cast head with similar port configurations, the latter can save you money. Circle 50 for more information 50 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 51

Heads Feature

Speaking Volumes Heads are available with various combustion chamber volumes. Larger chambers can accommodate domed pistons and are often compatible with a wider range of aftermarket pistons, while smaller combustion chambers allow you to achieve a higher compression ratio using flat top pistons or smaller domed pistons. Many head suppliers can also mill a set of heads to reduce the combustion chamber volumes to your specifications if that's what you want. An important point to remember here is to always check valve-to-

piston clearance with the head installed on the block to make sure there are no interference problems at peak valve lift. Milled heads, larger diameter valves, reduced

CNC porting can open up the intake and exhaust ports for better airflow. The same port profile can be replicated with a new casting.

Circle 51 for more information 51

48-52 Cylinder heads 4/11/14 2:56 PM Page 52

Heads Feature deck height, a higher lift cam and/or rocker arm ratio can all add up to create interference problems if you fail to take everything into account.

Port Points Raised ports or relocated ports generally provide better airflow and more power. But changing the ports also means you have to change the intake manifold and/or exhaust manifold/headers. On big block Chevy, you also have the option of going with rectangular ports or oval ports. Some say oval ports flow better, but again compatibility with existing manifolds may be the deciding factor as to which port configuration you choose.

What’s Your Angle? The angle of the spark plug doesn't matter as much as its location with respect to the valves. On many heads, relocating the spark plug closer to the exhaust valve adds some horsepower. But relocated plugs or different plug angles may interfere with some exhaust

The "right" cylinder head on an engine will deliver peak power in the RPM range where you want it.

manifolds or headers. Consequently, you may have to choose a set of heads that will work with an existing set of manifolds or headers over a set of heads that won't.

Final Thoughts Other items to consider when choosing a set of heads includes valve sizes (intake and exhaust), the quality of the valve seat material, the type of valve guides (integral, bronze, powder metal or cast iron), and the diameter and location of the spring pads (larger pads can accommodate larger, stiffer springs). Do you want assembled heads ready to install, fully machined and unassembled heads you can assemble yourself, semi-finished heads so you can do the final valve work and assembly, or raw castings that you can CNC machine yourself in-house? Some head suppliers have mass-produced fully assembled heads that are typically sold through online retailers and performance parts distributors. These are a good value for the DIY engine builder or somebody with a limited budget, but are probably not the best choice for most professional engine builders. Many engine builders want full control over the final valve work and assembly to make sure the heads are finished to their specifications.

Get Advice If you're confused by the bewildering array of cylinder head configurations that are available in the aftermarket today and need help choosing the right head for your engine, use the expertise of the people who make the heads to help you in the selection process. As we said earlier, they know their product lines and can steer you towards the best head for what you want to accomplish. â–

Looking for suppliers of stock, diesel or performance heads? Check out the 2014 Engine Builder Buyers Guides online at Circle 52 for more information 52 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

53 Edelbrock_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:41 PM Page 53

Circle 53 on Reader Service Card for more information

Flathead Feature

54-59 Flathead Feature 4/11/14 2:54 PM Page 54

Fascination for Flatheads Ford’s Famous V8 Remains a Staple for Engine Builders BY BILL HOLDER PHOTOS BY PHIL KUNZ


Aftermarket additions to this V8-60, which is mounted at a slight angle in a race hydroplane, include Edelbrock heads and intake and the ever-popular Stromberg carbs.

t was special in so many ways. out from the heads that gets the First of all, it was the first V8 attention of modern engine engine for the Ford line of builders. cars. Nobody could imagine the But it must be noted that the effects it would have on the racing flathead term does not just signify and hot rod world in the years to one single engine. There were come. Even in its stock trim, it was actually initially several versions of a gutty little powerplant, but it the Flathead, but only three that would serve as a basis for many performance versions in the years to come. There was so much that could be done to these engines, and since there were no professional engine builders at the time, the drawing board was a blank sheet of paper for thousands of creative minds to address. Just about everything was tried, including carburetors of varying numbers, fuel injection, supercharging, boring and stroking, relieving, and on and on. And as surprising as it may seem, the engine still lives today and can be found in modern land speed, hot rods and other types of performance vehicles. A large number of aftermarket parts are available for the flathead. This V8-60 shows its upgrades The in the form of aftermarket magnetism is heads and intake manifold and a still in place, pair of Stromberg two-barrel carbs. maybe it’s all those stud bolts peering

54 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

attracted period engine builders who would modify them for motorsports endeavors. The smallest was the so-called V8-60 with the 60 indicating the stock horsepower it acquired from its 136 cubic inches of displacement. There were two later versions displacing

54-59 Flathead Feature 4/11/14 2:54 PM Page 55

Flathead Feature 239.4 and 255.4 cubic inches, with 85 and 100 horse ratings. There was also a little-used flathead, a 221cid V8. It was forgotten in racing, but in 1935 it would be on display at the world’s biggest race. Note: This article will be divided into two parts, the V8-60 and 221 addressed in this issue, followed by the 239.4 and 255 versions in our next issue.

Part One-The Ford V8-60 and 221 Flathead Engines The V8-60 Engine

In post-war midget racing, a dual-carb, aftermarket heads V8-60 set-up like this was a common sight.

The V8-60 engine holds a special position in the history of midget racing. It was known as the “Poor Man’s Offy” referring to the purerace Offenhouser four-cylinder powerhouse. It was originally planned to be a car engine, but it was just too small for that mission. But it was perfect for the small open wheel midgets, and was still a competitive machine on the racetrack into the

Circle 55 for more information 55

54-59 Flathead Feature 4/11/14 2:54 PM Page 56

Flathead Feature

This vintage pavement midget uses a stock V8-60 powerplant.

This V8-60 powered dirt midget gets it on in a corner.

The V8-60 powerplant was a popular choice in 136 cubic inch Class A hydroplane competition in the late 1950s.

56 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

1960s. And also, It was a perfect fit for the A Modified and S Stock hydroplane classes. The engine builders were often the guys that bought the engines. There were many available aftermarket parts while some of the more skilled fabricated their own parts. The most common pieces that were added to the V8-60 included heads, cams, intakes, carbs, and exhausts. Each of those engines had its individual touch of its engine builder. The little V8-60 flathead engine had three main bearings, along with a 3.2 inch stroke and a 2.6 inch bore. Its compression ratio was only 5.61 with its twin water pumps placed in front of the block. It was introduced in the United States in 1937, and would continue to be improved through its years of production. Included were a new combustion chamber shape, aluminum heads, substitution of a Stromberg twobarrel carburetor, and the use of steel pistons instead of aluminum. Longtime engine builder Rich Willim is one the masters on the modification of this smallest of the flatheads. He has been involved with the V8-60 for more than six decades, both as a builder, a competitor using a self-modified V8-60 in hydroplace racing, and the author of one of the V8-60 bibles with his book, “The V860 Ford’s Little Powerhouse.” He explained that the actual horsepower of the V8-60 was not well known, but the word was out that an Edelbrock-designed V8-60 with a .030 overbore, an Isky Cam, and on methanol produced about a 129 horses. Willim upgraded that engine with .100 overbore and two Stromberg carbs and made 142hp at 7600rpm. Engine builders often investigated different crankshafts for use on the engine. Willim explained, “There were some racing modifications made to cranks. Edelbrock, Claysmith and Eddie Meyer were the prime crank modifiers. The work involved providing extra clearance on bearing surfaces and reducing the weight of the counter weight which resulted in better rotating-assembly

54-59 Flathead Feature 4/11/14 2:54 PM Page 57

Flathead Feature This V8-60 is garbed in Eddie Meyer aftermarket parts with both heads and intake, in addition to twin carbs.

This midget-mounted V8-60 is in race trim with its Eddie Meyer Heads, Edelbrock intake and twin carburetors.

This nifty midget is fitted with aftermarket heads and and twin carbs.

balance. In addition, custom 180 degree cranks were produced by Norden which produced huge torque.” Cams were abundant for the V8-60 engine builder, the most popular being the Winfield, Claysmith, Herman & Collins, Weber, and Isky. Willim explained that the Winfield had a pair of cams to be used with stock valve springs with performance gained in the valve timing. Claysmith had a pair of cams, one for midgets and one for race boats. The Isky cams appeared in great numbers with high torque, short track applications. The hottest of the Isky cams was the so-called 620BS, which could only be acquired as a part of a complete Edelbrock engine. Since drag racing was mostly restricted to the streets in the postwar period, the V8-60 was used in that application. But during the early 1950s, the best place to demonstrate speed was in high-speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats and other long, clean, desert surfaces. One of the smallest of those racers was formed by a WWII bomber belly tank. Inside, there was room for the driver and an upgraded V8-60 engine. With its clean aerodynamics and V8-60 power, these mini machines were rockets. Willim indicated that, like the cams, there were also a number of aftermarket performance pistons which found their way into V8-60 race engines. “The most popular piston builder was by far the Jahns brand, and few engine builders looked any further. Pistons came in sizes varying from stock to a 170inch overbore, Also, Mickey Thompson produced aftermarket rods for the V8-60,” he said. The aftermarket cylinder heads from Edelbrock, Offenhauser, Weiand Sharp and Eddie Meyer were the leaders of the pack. It was possible to considerably increase the V8-60 compression ratio with all of them, up to 10-1 in some cases. The most visible indication of an upgraded 60 was the appearance of multi-carburetor intake manifolds. The key to this modification were the intake manifolds. The two-carb Edelbrock intake had an excellent 57

54-59 Flathead Feature 4/11/14 2:54 PM Page 58

Flathead Feature

The Willim book is the bible for the V8-60 engine.

It’s rare that you see stock heads and a single carb on a competition V8-60 engine in a hydroplane race boat. But that’s the case with this set-up which competed in the PDOH stock class earlier in California.

Circle 58 for more information 58 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

reputation. There was also a twocarb version built by Smith and Jones. But some other engine builders felt the more the merrier

54-59 Flathead Feature 4/11/14 2:54 PM Page 59

Flathead Feature Surprisingly, the 221 flathead engine was selected to power 10 Indy Cars at the 1935 Indy 500. Each carried four carburetors, but the results were pitiful.

and built both three- and four-carb versions. Without a doubt, the most popular carbs used with the V8-60 were the Stromberg two-barrel carbs which could easily convert to run methanol.

The 221 Flathead Engine There was one other member of the flathead family, the 221 V8, which was the first of the flatheads to be produced. It appeared to have all the qualities to be modified for high performance and racing. It was first produced from 1935 to 1941.

With stock iron heads, it produced 94 horsepower and had 155 poundfeet of torque. But there was no place for it with stock cars or open wheel machines, which were monopolized by the 136 and the larger 239/255 family. It was then that Henry Ford decided that it was time to go racing. He selected Indianapolis where he fielded a small number of cars to compete in the Indy 500. The engine that was selected was the 221, which was equipped with an aftermarket block and four carburetors. The engine developed 150 horsepower, but the experiment failed miserably. Of the 10 cars that were entered, only four qualified and none of them finished the race. Granted, it was a late decision, but some of Fords finest engineers and engine builders tried to make it work. â–

Circle 59 for more information 59

“FE” Feature

60-65 Ford 390 4/11/14 2:52 PM Page 60

“Out with the Old and in with the New,” “Or keep the Old” BY BOB MCDONALD, CONTRIBUTING WRITER


t seems as though the car restoration market is in full swing. Anybody that has an appreciation for an automobile can tell you that it’s all about American Iron. The phrase American Iron came about because we as Americans loved big automobiles with big engines to fit our big egos and we were proud of it. The problem with American Iron is that it is becoming hard to find. A lot of the automobiles from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s are being placed on the extinction list. I was visiting a friend at his body shop a couple years ago and noticed that he was working on a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle that looked to be a total rust

bucket. The rear quarters, trunk, floors, and fenders were extremely eaten up with rust and of course he was doing the arduous task of replacing all those panels with new pieces. After seeing the project, my first reaction was, “Take that thing to the scrap yard and find another one.” His reply was, “Where are you going to get it?” That saying ever since has spoke volumes to me because that era of automobile was the glory years and now those

All Ford “FE” blocks have either “352” or “501” at the top right corner of the engine. If the engine was equipped for hydraulic lifters, the two bosses on each side above the rear cam plug will have oil passages that have been drilled and tapped. Above the oil pan rail at the base of the oil filter adaptor is where the date code has been cast. This block, which ended up as a 390, has a code of 8F27 meaning May 27, 1968. On the side of the “FE” you will often find the three letters DIF with a number to the left. This block was cast at the Dearborn Iron Foundry using mold #30.

60 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

1967 Ford Shelby GT 500 Super Snake fastback. Powered by a 427 from the LeMann’s winning GT40 race car. Having a price tag of $8,000, the production of 50 cars was cancelled leaving this unique prototype Mustang to ever be sold at auction. The car sold for $1.3 million.

cars are becoming scarce. Keep in mind that a lot of these have been restored and maybe sold at some of the more popular auctions while other owners have opted to keep their restorations under lock and key.

60-65 Ford 390 4/11/14 2:52 PM Page 61

“FE” Feature

CU.IN. 330 332 352 360 361 390 391 406 410 427 428

LITER 5.4 5.4 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.4 6.4 6.7 6.7 7 7

USAGE truck car car truck car car truck car car car car

BORE 3.875" 4.00" 4.002" 4.052" 4.047" 4.052" 4.052" 4.130" 4.054" 4.232" 4.132"

STROKE 3.50" 3.30" 3.50" 3.50" 3.50" 3.784" 3.784" 3.784" 3.980" 3.784" 3.980"

Shorter strokes belong to the 330,332,352,360,361 Longer strokes belong to the 390,406,410,427,428 But, if you do find a piece of Americana, which direction of a restoration will you choose. Now if you found an automobile that was complete and all numbers matching, I would more than likely put the vehicle back to its original condition. If you found one that had some missing pieces or components, you might think about a modern day resto-mod which has become quite popular. It’s a way of mixing the old with the new. Enjoy the exterior and the bold look of the automobile while enjoying the benefits of modern day technology such as electronic fuel injection, distributor less ignition, air conditioning, variable valve timing, electronic overdrive, a lot of horsepower and torque with 20-plus miles to the gallon. These cylinder heads have casting number C8AE-H Modern day power with a date code of 9C27, which means this head plants and accessories could have been used in two different applications. are finding their way The first unusual difference for this particular head into classic restorations was the 14 bolt holes on the exhaust ports. This head and making them quite would have been used on a 1968-1969 390 Ford Musenjoyable and valuable. tang or 1968 GT500. If the exhaust ports would have There is however, been 8 bolt holes instead of 14, the application would have been general purpose for 390-428 cubic one power plant that inches. has taken a back seat The C8AE-H is considered to have medium rise intake over the years that ports which are smaller than the ports found on the seems to be gaining a low rise intake. This cylinder head’s valve sizes and lot of attention. If your chamber along with the 14 bolt exhaust would match classic or project car performance use found in the 390 Mustang or GT has one of these 500.

engines, you may elect to rectify it instead of replacing it with a modern day engine. The engine in question here is the Ford “FE” engine. The Ford “FE” has a rich history that is often overlooked. Often the term “FE” is heard, but not a lot of people today know what engine family this is associated with. First of all, the “FE” stands for Ford Edsel and was produced from 1958 to 1976. Mainly, the “FE” engine was the powerplant intended for the release in Ford’s new car the “Edsel.” But, the main purpose was that Ford needed a medium-sized engine to get more power than a small block and less weight than a big block for medium-sized cars. The “FE” was considered a Y-block design because the block casting extended 3.625” below the centerline of the crankshaft which was about a 1” below the journals of the crankshaft. The Y-block design offered great support for the crankshaft. All of the “FE” blocks share the same bore spacing of 4.63” and a deck height of 10.17”. The crankshaft main journals are 2.749” and the connecting rod journals are 2.438”. Their engines also used two different connecting rod lengths 6.488” and 6.540”. 61

60-65 Ford 390 4/11/14 2:52 PM Page 62

Now the “FE” engine has 10 different bores and four different strokes. They can be classified into two generations. Generation I was from 1958 until 1966 and included the 330, 332, 352, 360, 361, and 390 cubic inch displacements. From 1966 until 1976, Generation II appeared with larger bores and strokes which included the 406, 410, 427, and 428 cubic inch displacements. These engines were produced under two versions, the “FE” which was intended for cars and “FT” which was intended for use in buses and light trucks. The best way to differentiate between the “FE” and “FT” is to look for the motor mount bosses. If the motor mount bosses are on the side of the block, then the purpose was for a car. If the motor mount bosses are on the front of the block, then the purpose was for truck or bus. Most truck and bus applications were produced with a steel crankshaft instead of a nodular iron.

330 Smallest bore of the “FE” engines Used in truck applications.

332 Used in Ford cars in 1958 and 1959. Used in Edsel in 1958 and 1959.

352 Introduced in 1958 as a replacement for the Lincoln car engine also known as the Interceptor V8. Basically, the engine was a stroked 332 that produced 208 hp with a 2 barrel carburetor. The Interceptor Special V8 was a 4 barrel version that produced 300 hp. Used in Ford Thunderbirds and Mercury Marauders between 1958 and 1960.

361 First “FE” engine offered in 1958 Edsel Ranger, Pacer, Villager, Roundup, and Bermuda.

360 Produced in Ford “F” series trucks from 1968 until 1976.

390 Produced in 1961 and is the most commonly known engine among the “FE” family. This engine was used in many of Ford’s cars and trucks. The Circle 62 for more information 62 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

2 barrel version produced 265 hp and the 4 barrel version produced 320 hp. For 1967 and 1968, the 4 barrel version produced 335 hp and was installed in the Mustang, Fairlane GT, and “S” code Mercury Cougars. Another high performance version was available with 3x2 barrel carburetors that produced 401 hp.

406 Start of the Generation II engines. Had the same stroke of the 390 but had the bore of 4.13”. With bigger cylinder bores required thicker cylinder wall design block. The main bearing caps were cross-bolted which kept the caps from walking under harsh racing conditions. The 406 was only available for less than two years until the 427 was introduced.

410 Used in 1966 and 1967 Mercury cars. Utilized the same bore of the 390 but had a bigger stroke of 3.98” which is the same as the 428.

427 Produced in 1963 with the same stroke as the 390, but with a bore of 4.23”. There were two different versions known as top-oiler and sideoiler. The top-oiler, same as other “FE” engines, delivered oil to the cam and valvetrain and then to the crankshaft. The side-oiler, had a passage from the oil pump down the side of the block to deliver oil to the crankshaft first then to the camshaft and valvetrain.

427 SOHC Also known as the “Cammer.” It was produced in 1964 to compete in Nascar against the Chrysler 426 Hemi. The SOHC 427 engine was hemispherical combustion chamber design with a single 4 barrel carburetor that produced 616 hp and 515 ft.lbs of torque. Even though the engine meet homologation requirements of NASCAR (meaning that NASCAR required so many of these engines to be sold to the public so that the engine was not intended for race use only), the engine was still banned from racing. This is the only engine that NASCAR ever banned in history.

63 Fed Mog_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:40 PM Page 63

Circle 63 on Reader Service Card for more information

60-65 Ford 390 4/11/14 2:52 PM Page 64

“FE” Feature

428 With the big bore of the 427(4.235”), manufacturing became expensive. Ford utilized the biggest stroke of 3.985” and a bore of 4.135” to make 428 cubic inches. The engine was used in 1966 and 1967 Ford Thunderbird, Mustang, Galaxie, and Cougar.

428 Cobra Jet The engine was built in 1968 with heavier connecting rods and nodular iron crankshaft that had a rated horsepower of 335 but actually was 410 hp. The 428CJ had larger intake ports and valves than any other production “FE” cylinder head with 2.06” intake valves and 1.66” exhaust valves. All other “FE” cylinder heads shared the same

valve sizes of 2.02” intake and 1.55” exhaust.

428 Super Cobra Jet Built for more abuse and race applications with heavier rods which used cap screws instead of bolts. Also utilized an engine oil cooler. All 428 and 410 crankshafts were externally balanced because removal of the center counterweight required an external counterweight. One interesting point is where the Edsel name came from. Yes, it was the name given to the car that was noted as the biggest marketing disaster from Ford, but where did the name come from? The name Edsel was from Henry and Clara Ford’s only son. He was born on November 6, 1893 and died from

cancer on May 26, 1943. Henry Ford named his son from one of his closest childhood friends Edsel Ruddimen. Edsel Ford enjoyed working with automobiles just like his dad, but his primary focus was on styling. Destined to take over the family business, he became the secretary of Ford in 1915. Edsel bought the first MG motorcar that was imported to the U.S. Having a passion for styling, in 1932, Edsel along with Ford’s chief designer E.T. Gregorie built a speedster. It was an aluminum, boat-tailed, V8-powered automobile that incorporated features that no other automobile had. Some of these features Edsel Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Speedster built by Edsel Ford and designer E.T. Gregorie.

appeared on Ford vehicles throughout history. In 1934, Gregorie built another speedster named the Model 40 with more styling and lower ground clearance. The Model 40 has since been restored and is on display in the museum at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. After becoming the president of Ford, Edsel pushed to replace the model T, but Henry would not hear of it. With declining car sales, Henry agreed to let Edsel introduce the Model A. Edsel helped design the body and introduced such features as four wheel mechanical brakes and the slide-gear transmission. The Model A was a huge success with over 4 million in sales in four years of production. Edsel went on to found the name Mercury and was responsible for the production of the Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln Continental. After his battle with stomach cancer, Edsel died in 1943 leaving a legacy to his four children. Henry Ford was reinstated as president of Ford Motor Company following Edsel’s death. Circle 64 for more information 64 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

60-65 Ford 390 4/11/14 2:53 PM Page 65

“FE” Feature

A 1958 Edsel Pacer convertible.

Edsel as we all are familiar with was a car built by Ford from 1958 to 1960. In the early 1950’s, Ford became publicly traded and was no longer owned by family members of Ford. So, by being publicly traded, the consumer market was demanding more innovations. Ford Motor Company set up a research team and found that the purpose of the Lincoln was to compete with the Cadillac. But, research showed that the Lincoln was competing with Oldsmobile and Buick instead. So

Ford decided to upscale the Lincoln Continental to compete with the Cadillac and introduced an automobile to compete in the medium car market with Oldsmobile and Buick. Ford began developing an automobile code named “E” car for experimental. The car that was introduced became known as the “Edsel” in honor of Edsel Ford. The new vehicle would employ such innovations as “rolling dome” speedometer, warning lights for low-oil level, parking brake

engaged, and engine overheat. It also incorporated Push-Button Teletouch transmission in the center of the steering wheel. Other features included self-adjusting brakes, seat belts and child proof rear door locks. The Edsel car production went down in history as the biggest marketing disaster. Along with pricing and styling concepts that the public just could not understand, Edsel came to an end on November 19, 1959. Total car sales were 116,000 less than expected with a company loss of $350 million. If you want to get an idea of the tragedy of the loss, that amount of money in today’s market would be more than $2.83 billion. ■ 65

Profitable Performance

66,72 Profitable Performance 4/11/14 2:51 PM Page 66

Charity Build Engine Taking Shape


Our Project Engine Gets Baked, Blasted and Bored


are to be different. That was the idea. And right out of the gate I was hit with skepticism. “Why are you doing that?” “What if you did this?” But my answer was always no, you’re going to read about that anywhere. Not that this is a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I wanted to write about or what I was looking to accomplish. I was looking for something that would

Steve Tosel donated our 1977 318 core. Tired and worn, but all in one piece. It’s a sound candidate for our 392 project.

stimulate discussion, create more business by broadening our awareness of what could be done and now I guess I have something to prove. So our first article hits the streets. The February issue is out about three days and my phone starts to ring. If you read the article and scanned the accompanying photos, then you probably caught it as well. Yep, we 66 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

ran the wrong picture. We had a Ford block with a caption about how familiar our friends at Grawmondbecks Competition Engines are with Mopars. Yikes! I grabbed the wrong picture and no one else caught it. So for those who called to point out my mistake, I want to thank you. But all is good. Besides a lesson in double and triple checking what I submit for print, I received some

energy, but a lot of parts. We’ve been working to acquire our rotating assembly and the balance of parts to build the shortblock. It has been very rewarding to see how enthusiastic and supportive our parts suppliers have been. And not just for the exposure, but for the cause. Our plan to raffle off the finished product and then donate the money we raise to the Independence Fund

After tear down, the block was oven baked and shot blasted.

The block was magnafluxed and found free of any cracks. A light deburring was also done to the inside of the block.

great compliments for what we are doing. I’ve had multiple offers for alternate machine shops if it were ever needed and I learned that not one, not two, but three customers had interest in doing similar 392 projects. Two for the shop owners themselves. The compliments and positive reinforcement did not stop there. A build like this needs not only a plan and a shop donating their time and

( seemed to have touched the hearts of many. And I’d like to thank them for their support and encouragement. We do have a machine though, and not just any shop. Grawmondbecks Competition Engines, Mason City, IA are known for their race winning performance engines. Joe Degraw and Stacy Redmond started out in 1993 and though things got off to a Continued on page 72

Product Spotlights

67-69 Spotlights 4/11/14 2:50 PM Page 67

Ergonomic Blast Cabinets

Engine Pro High Performance Connecting Rods

ZERO blast cabinets are now available in an ergonomic body style, which allows the operator to sit while working. The cabinet configuration provides comfortable knee-room for the operator without interfering with the free flow of media for reclamation and re-use. Standard cabinet features include: large, quick-change window, reverse-pulse cartridge-style dust collector, suction-blast or pressure-blast models. HEPA filtration as an option. Cabinets can work with glass bead, aluminum oxide and other recyclable media. Applications: cleaning, de-burring, peening, and finishing.

Engine Pro H-Beam Connecting Rods are forged from 4340 steel and produced on CNC machinery. They are finished in the U.S. to ensure precise big-end and pin-end bore sizes. Rods are magnafluxed, heat treated, stress relieved, shot peened and sonic tested to ensure they provide the strength required for high horsepower applications. Engine Pro connecting rods equipped with standard 8740 bolts are rated for up to 700 horsepower in small blocks, and 850 horsepower in big block applications. Visit,

Clemco Industries Corp.

Engine Pro

Phone: 800-788-0599

Phone: 800-ENGINE-1

Circle 101

Circle 102 Circle 103

Web-Based Valvetrain Parts Catalog SBI has released a Web-based version of its acclaimed catalog in order to provide users with real-time updates on additions to the company’s line of replacement valvetrain parts for close to 3,000 applications divided among late-model domestic and import passenger car, light truck, performance, marine, agricultural, heavy-duty and forklift/industrial. The catalog also features listings of K-Line Bronze Bullet-brand valve guide liners and miscellaneous K-Line tooling stocked by SBI, Exclusive Master Distributor for K-Line. Based on SBI’s CD-ROM catalog, the SBI Web-based catalog allows the user to search the database by part type/part number, vehicle type, engine manufacturer, or specific engine and make codes.

S.B. International Phone:1-800-THE-SEAT Circle 104 67 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Circle 105

Circle 106

67-69 Spotlights 4/11/14 2:50 PM Page 68

Performance Trends has released a major High Force upgrade to is automatic spring tester, letting you test to 2500 lbs or more. Drag racers like Johnny Gray and Shane Gray of Gray Motorsports say “we saw an improved consistency in our engine performance and greater reliability of our valve springs. We even had a situation when we caught a valve spring that would have failed before it got put into service. This tool has proven to Gray Motorsports it is the best way for us to test valve springs for our race teams."

Performance Trends 248-473-9230 Circle 107

Circle 109

Circle 108

Circle 117

Circle 111 Circle 110 68

Product Spotlights

Valve Spring Tester

Product Spotlights

67-69 Spotlights 4/11/14 2:51 PM Page 69

Have You Been To The redesigned Engine Builder website – – provides weekly updated news, products and technical information along with the same in-depth editorial content as the magazine. Technical, product and equipment, market research, business management and financial information is all searchable by keywords making it easy for engine builders to find the information they need from current and past issues. Currently the site receives more than 120,000+ page views/impressions per month and growing!

Engine Builder

Circle 112


Circle 113

Circle 114

Circle 115 69 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Circle 116


70-71 Class-Cores 4/11/14 2:49 PM Page 70

Visit The Engine Builder website - - provides weekly updated news, products and technical information along with the same in-depth editorial content as the magazine. Technical, product and equipment, market research, business management and financial information is all searchable by keywords making it easy for engine builders to find the information they need from current and past issues. Currently the site receives more than 100,000+ page views/ impressions per month and growing!

Need Reprints? Call Tina Purnell at 330-670-1234, ext. 243

Engine Builder Phone: 330-670-1234 3550 Embassy Parkway Akron, OH 44333-8318 FAX 330-670-0874


Publisher Doug Kaufman, ext. 262

Tech Editor Larry Carley

Editor Ed Sunkin, ext. 258

Advertising Services Tina Purnell, ext. 243

Senior Executive Editor Brendan Baker, ext. 228 Managing Editor Greg Jones ext. 272 Graphic Designer Nichole Anderson, ext. 232

70 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Director of Distribution Rich Zisk, ext. 287 Circulation Manager Pat Robinson, ext. 276 Sr. Circulation Specialist Ellen Mays, ext. 275

Sales Representatives Bobbie Adams 330-670-1234, ext. 238 Roberto Almenar 330-670-1234, ext. 233 David Benson 330-670-1234 ext. 210 Don Hemming 330-670-1234, ext. 286 Jamie Lewis 330-670-1234, ext. 266

Dean Martin 330-670-1234, ext. 225 Jim Merle 330-670-1234, ext. 280 Tom Staab 330-670-1234, ext 224 Glenn Warner 330-670-1234, ext. 212 John Zick 949-756-8835

Babcox Media Inc. Bill Babcox, President Greg Cira, Vice President, CFO Jeff Stankard, Vice President Beth Scheetz, Controller In Memorium: Edward S. Babcox (1885-1970) Founder of Babcox Publications Inc. Tom B. Babcox (1919-1995) Chairman

70-71 Class-Cores 4/11/14 2:49 PM Page 71





JAMISON EQUIPMENT 1908 11th St., Emmetsburg IA 50536 800-841-5405 Check out our used equip. list at

Simply the Best Lists: Automotive Aftermarket Truck Fleet & Powersports Markets

What Type of Direct Marketing Initiatives Do You Have in Store for 2014? Direct Mail E-Mail Marketing Telemarketing New Business • Prospecting Drive Web Site

Traffic Database Enhancement Catalog Mailing Promote Upcoming Tradeshows

Don Hemming, List Sales Manager Babcox Media, Inc. Phone: 330-670-1234 x286  Fax: 330-670-0874 

Call now to order or to receive a free 2014 catalog 1-800-434-5141

To Advertise in CLASSIFIEDS! Call Roberto Almenar at 330-670-1234, ext. 233 Advertiser Index

COMPANY NAME ArmaKleen Company ARP/Automotive Racing Products Inc Atech Motorsports Auto Care Association Avon Automotive Products Brad Penn Lubricants Canton Racing Products Centroid Corp. Clemco Industries Dakota Parts Warehouse Darton International Dipaco Inc. DNJ Engine Components Driven Racing Oil, LLC Eagle Specialty Products Eastern Precision/Systemone Parts Washers Edelbrock Corp Engine & Performance Warehouse Engine Parts Group Engine Parts Warehouse EngineQuest EngineQuest

PAGE # 38 26 27 44 18 37 6 19 34/35 64 48 43 1 41 c3 33 53 23 13 3 31 47

ESCO Industries Federal Mogul/Fel Pro Federal Mogul/Fel Pro GRP Connecting Rods Injector Experts Liberty Engine Parts Motor State Distributing Packard Industries Pro-Filer Performance Products ProMaxx Performance Quality Power Products RHS- Racing Head Service Rottler Manufacturing Safety Auto Parts Corp Safety Kleen- Armakleen Joint Venture SB International Scat Enterprises Scorpion Racing Products Topline Topline Topline Trac-Pro

24 62 63 58 6 5 59 55 52 46 11 51 c4 7 39 15 c2 49 21 25 50 20 71

66,72 Profitable Performance 4/11/14 2:51 PM Page 72

Profitable Performance

This block had seen some miles. The align-bore was out and the caps fell out of their registers. Stacy Redmond has a very unique method of peening the main caps to relief stress. After peening, the caps fit snug as the day they left the Chrysler plant. The caps were clipped and the block was then line-bored.

A couple bearings were installed, the crank laid and a rod and piston installed to check for clearance. There is very little that has to be removed from the bottom of the cylinders to clear the connecting rods. There is plenty of clearance around the cam, the pan rails and the bottom of the cylinders for our 4” stroke crank. Small block Chevy owners, eat your heart out.

Next, our block was bored .035” over on the Rottler. It had one rusty hole we were a little worried about, but every cylinder cleaned up nice.

While in the hone cabinet, Joe takes the time to lightly hone the lifter bores to remove any burrs left from the shot blaster, and to make sure the lifters rotate freely. Before we put the block in the hone, we setup the BHJ block fixture and then the decks were milled. It didn’t take much to cleanup the surface and zero deck our block.

The hone finished the cylinders the last .005” to give us our 3.950” bore size.

Continued from page 66

slow start, it has been full speed ahead since. Joe and Stacy made a national presence for themselves back in 2006 when they won the first AERA E85 engine buildoff. Then they came back to prove it was no fluke when they also pulled off a second win in 2008. Steve Tosel, the only other employee and avid Mopar racer, was kind enough to donate our core 318. So our core motor arrives on a hook, looks and checks out pretty good. The machine work on the block is proceeding without a hitch and like I said, the parts for the majority of the shortblock have arrived. We’d like to thank ICON for their beautiful set of forged pistons, 72 April 2014 | EngineBuilder

Engine Pro for the performance ring set and the street performance harmonic balancer, Mahle Clevite for the H-series rod and main bearings, Durabond for the cam bearings and finish kit, Melling for the brass plug kit, the oil pump, screen and drive shaft and Scat for our 4340 steel stroker crank and the 5140 I-beam connecting rod set. It was starting to look a lot like Christmas as we opened boxes and inspected our cache of new performance parts. So follow along as we strip, clean and blueprint the 1977 318 block. We’re turning an old 5.2L truck motor into our 6.4L Magnum 392 — our first Charity engine build! ■

Small Block Mopars are known to be difficult to install cam bearings on occasion. 360’s are notorious for this, but it’s usually not a big problem on the 318. It will save you a lot of grief later on if you use your dial-bore gauge and an inside micrometer to check the cam bores. Our block checked out alright. Right on factory spec. The block was then cleaned one more time and bagged, awaiting assembly.

C3 Eagle_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:39 PM Page c3

Circle 73 on Reader Service Card for more information

C4 Rottler_Layout 1 4/11/14 2:39 PM Page c4

Circle 74 on Reader Service Card for more information

Engine Builder, April 2014  
Engine Builder, April 2014  

Engine Builder provides valuable information on numerous engine markets served by both custom and production engine builders/rebuilders – fr...