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SERVING ENGINE BUILDERS & REBUILDERS SINCE 1964 2013 AUGUST

EngineBuilderMag.com


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Contents 08.13

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Features

ON THE COVER

3rd Annual Web Directory

Cylinder Head Porting

Is it worth the effort? Larry Carley explores all the angles necessary for profitably porting cylinder heads as a healthy part of your business model ............................................................16

16

Today, engine builders’ primary source of information is supplier ads in targeted trade publications, while further detailed research on product information is done through supplier websites. The 3rd Annual Supplier Website Directory features a unique Suppliers Website Capabilities section highlighting digital technical, sales and marketing information from parts, equipment and shop suppliers for engine builders............................28

Diesel Cranks and Rods

Contributing Editor Bob McDonald gives us an overview of the latest crank and connecting rod technologies for the diesel engine building market..............................................22

Columns

22

Old Iron ........................................56 By Contributing Editor John Gunnell Gems From the 1949 Bell Auto Parts Catalog

Marine Market High-performance powerboating is a world full of opportunity for the journeyman machinist/builder. Contributing Editor Chris Sunkin discusses ways in which engine builders can pursue more work in this arena ............................................44

44 Sassy Racing Engines Contributing Editor Bill Holder writes about Sassy Racing Engine's tractor pulling and drag race Hemi engines. Located in Weare, NH, SRE has been in business for 30+ years building some of the most-powerful Chrysler Hemi engines in the competitive world of truck and tractor pulling ....................48

48 COVER DESIGN BY NICHOLE ANDERSON

28 On the Web ..................................64 Featuring stories, products and events from Engine BuilderMag.com

DEPARTMENTS Industry News......................................................6 Events ..................................................................4 Shop Solutions ....................................................12 NASCAR Performance ..........................................21 2013 Supplier Spotlight ........................................59 Cores/Classifieds/Ad Index ..................................62

ENGINE BUILDER founded Oct. 1964 Copyright 2013 Babcox Media Inc.

ENGINE BUILDER (ISSN 1535-041X) (August 2013, Volume 49, Number 8): 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.

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Events

Industry Events September 18 AERA Tech & Skills Regional Conference Dallas, TX www.aera.org or 888-326-2372

September 18-20 68th Annual PERA Conference Dallas, TX www.pera.org or 817-243-2646

September 25-26 Rottler 6th Annual Open House Kent, WA www.rottlermfg.com/open_house.php or 800-452-0534

September 27 AERA Tech & Skills Regional Conference Hosted by Rottler Manufacturing Kent, WA www.aera.org or 888-326-2372

October 2

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MERA Remanufacturing and Sustainability Conference Troy, MI www.mera.org or 248-750-1280

November 5-7 AAPEX Show Las Vegas, NV www.aapexshow.com or 708-226-1300

November 5-8 SEMA Show Las Vegas, NV www.semashow.com or 702-450-7662

December 9-11 24th Annual AETC Indianapolis, IN www.aetconline.com or 866-893-2382

December 12-14 PRI Trade Show Indianapolis, IN www.performanceracing.com or 949-499-5413

For more industry events, visit our website at

www.enginebuildermag.com or subscribe to

www.aftermarketnews.com.

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Industry News

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Top Performance Engine Builder to be Named at AETC in Indy Applications for the second annual Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award, presented by Engine Builder and Driven Racing Oil, are now being accepted at topperformanceshop.com. “Last year, we received entries from fantastic shops all over the country. Each was a worthy candidate, but Ed Pink Racing Engines was the cream that rose to the top,” said Engine Builder associate publisher/editor Doug Kaufman. “We’re looking for the best example of creativity and innovation, training and education, merchandising and promotion, professional standards and conduct, appearance, solid business management, community involvement, business growth, achievement and victories. Yes, it’s a long list, and it’s an intentionally challenging track,” Kaufman said. “We’re looking for the best of the best

of the best.” The winner will be announced at a special presentation during the 2013 Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) in Indianapolis, December 8-11. The winner will receive a $1,000 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 2014 issue of Engine Builder, as well as numerous other prizes from Engine Builder and Driven Racing Oil. The entry process is simple but starts with those making the nomination providing basic information about the engine builder or shop being nominated at www.topperformanceshop.com and write a short essay explaining why that operation

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should be considered. For complete entry rules and more information about the contest, visit toppperformanceshop.com; about AETC, visit aetconline.com; or about the title sponsor, visit drivenracingoil.com.

Design Engineering Inc. to Provide Training Resources to Ohio Technical College Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) will provide instructor training and product resources to Cleveland’s Ohio Technical College to help support education and training for careers in the automotive and powersports aftermarket. This private, accredited technical college located close to DEI provides a well-rounded education in all major areas of auto mechanics: traditional, classic and alternative fuel, collision and restoration, welding, racing-performance, diesel mechanics and the exclusive BMW training center. The school also is well-known for its PowerSport Institute, a unique


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program that covers repair of most major brands of motorcycle and powersport equipment – Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and more. “We are excited about this partnership with such a fine college that consistently provides top-quality, highly prepared technicians and mechanics,” said Steve Garrett, DEI art director and media coordinator. “Our commitment is to provide products on an as-needed basis for the college’s project vehicles and assist with products and training from DEI Powersports for their first class PowerSport Institute. Our goal is to build excitement about our products, to educate how they can be used for traditional repair to the most technically advanced race vehicle and to support the enthusiasm and growth of the youth in the aftermarket.”

Major Engine Parts Companies Sponsor Classic Hot Rod Exhibit Several major automotive parts manufacturers were on hand for the opening reception of a classic hot rod exhibit recently held at The Gilmore Car Museum in Michigan. One of the vehicles featured in the American Legends: Hot Rods and Customs exhibit is the three-window 1932 Ford that was pictured on the Beach Boys' 1963 album, Little Deuce Coupe. The exhibit, which runs through next year, documents the classic era of hot rods from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. The rods and custom cars featured in the exhibit represent some of the best examples of these vehicles in existence and are on loan from various owners throughout the country. Throughout the exhibit the cars are complemented by supersized renditions of paintings by renowned automotive artist, Tom Fritz. The engine-related sponsors include AERA, Egge Machine Company, Engine Pro, Elgin Industries, Fel-Pro, Hastings Manufacturing, Mahle-Clevite, Melling Engine Parts, Milodon and Sealed Power. The Gilmore Car Museum is located near Kalamazoo, MI, and includes nearly 400 vehicles in eight historic barns: a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station and nearly three miles of paved roads. Circle 8 for more information 8 August 2013 | EngineBuilder


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THIS ISSUE:

PG 21 >> NASCAR Performance

PG 28 >> Web Directory

PG 44 >> Marine

Industry News

More information is available at www.gilmorecarmuseum.org.

PERA Fall Convention in Dallas to Include Tour of Cowboys Stadium The 68th Annual Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) Conference will be held Sept. 18-20 in Dallas, TX, and will include tours, tech sessions and a trip to Dallas Cowboys Stadium. This year’s PERA Conference will include a modified AERA Tech and Skills Conference on September 18. The tabletop displays and tech seminars will be held at AER Manufacturing’s production facility. Tours will include AER Manufacturing, Texas Jet Engine and GM’s assembly plant or Bell Helicopter. The Conference will be held at the Westin Galleria Dallas Hotel. A limited number of rooms have been reserved in the PERA block and reservations can be made by calling 888-627-8536 and asking about the PERA Annual Conference.

Dallas Cowboys Stadium

For more information and to download the complete Conference program, visit www.pera.org/calendar.htm.

Melling Celebrates Grand Opening of New North American R&D Tech Center Melling Engine Parts has announced that phase one of its 10,000-square-foot North American Research and Development Tech Center facility in Jackson, MI, has been completed. With the opening of this new tech

center, Melling says it has doubled its capabilities, which now include the ability to test oil pumps and water pumps for performance and durability as well as work on prototype assembly. There are currently five Melling employees on staff at the facility with plans for adding nine more. Melling says it has a long-term manufacturing vision and is committed to providing quality products for its aftermarket and OEM customers by developing the latest technology in

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Industry News

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fluid systems. Currently, the company has several new products and concepts in the pipeline that are being tested in the new tech center.

SEMA Show to Include Morning Cars & Coffee, Early Exhibits at LVH Among the new attractions at the 2013

SEMA Show will be Cars & Coffee – SEMA Edition. Taking place in the outdoor patio on the south side of the LVH (adjacent to the LVCC North Hall) from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. each morning of the Show, Cars & Coffee gives attendees a great place to start their day. Attendees will be able to grab a cup of coffee and a donut, check out some

cool vehicles, mingle with colleagues then get a jump start on their day by visiting the newly expanded Featured Exhibitors section at the LVH. Featuring some of the industry’s newest exhibitors, the LVH exhibits open at 8:00 a.m. – well before the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor opens. In addition to the exhibitors, the expanded LVH area houses registration. Attendees who did not register or who missed the deadline to have their badges mailed to them in advance will need to stop by registration before visiting the LVCC show floor. Additional details are available at www.SEMAShow.com.

ARCA 2013 Post-Season Award Banquet to Follow PRI Trade Show Dec. 14

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For the second consecutive year, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Racing Series presented by Menards post-season banquet will be held in the Indiana Convention Center’s Sagamore Ballroom. The 2013 champion will be honored during the series’ annual festivities, which take place Dec. 14 at the Indiana Convention Center, site of the 26th Annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show. ARCA is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways. The banquet reception will take place from 5-6:15 p.m., with the awards program scheduled to start about 6 p.m. The event is open to the public, which must buy tickets by Dec. 2. Tickets are $100. ARCA Racing Series teams and sponsors may register and pay online at www.arcaracing.com, while non-members can contact Shalene Williams via email at swilliams@arcaracing.com. ■ Make Sure Your News Gets Heard! Have industry news to share? Email it to Doug Kaufman at dkaufman@babcox.com

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12-13 Shop Solutions 8/15/13 8:29 AM Page 12

A Better Way To Clean Oil Galleries I’ve always used the standard long handled nylon bristle brushes dipped in solvent to scrub the oil galleries in blocks, heads and cranks before assembly. However, while cleaning a gun bore, it occurred to me that I didn’t really know how clean the galleries were actually getting in the engines that I build. The patches used in cleaning gun bores give a very definitive visual of exactly how clean the bore is. I decided to try this method of cleaning on the next engine that I built, which was a 1928 Dodge flathead four cylinder. I started by cleaning the block like I always do: thermally process in an oven, run through an airless shotblaster, wash twice in an aqueous jet washing machine (once before machining and then again after), and finally run a cleaning brush with solvent through each gallery several times. After this, I got the gun cleaning equipment out and ran patches soaked with the same solvent through the main gallery. The results can be seen in the attached picture. Obviously, my cleaning method was not actually getting the galleries clean! Up close inspection of the patches revealed rust, grime and small shiny metal particles that were not removed by my standard cleaning regimen. This junk would certainly make its way to the bearings, especially with modern detergent oils and higher than stock oil pressure. It takes a few more minutes than my old method, but now I know the galleries are actually getting clean. Gun cleaning rods, patches and brushes in a variety of sizes, (0.177˝ 0.729˝ are commonly available, although you will need a couple of different cleaning rods to span that 12 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

range) can be obtained from a local sporting goods store for very little expense. Tony Smith Gunsmith/Machinist/Engine Builder Lewistown, MT

Get Organized! Looking around for tools and parts wastes a lot of time and money. There is a great benefit to being organized and having the tools you need where you need them. Our head resurfacer for instance used to have a roll cart next to it piled with adapters, shims, washers and wrenches. Every time you had to cut a head, you had to dig through to find what you needed. Simple peg board and a shelf made those tools easily accessible and the job is a breeze now. This is true for every part of your shop, from how you handle you paperwork to the procedures of rebuilding heads. If there are procedures in place and you are organized, the jobs flow through much faster. Once the tried and true procedures are in place, every employee must follow them so that one can pick up where the other left off without wondering if certain steps have been done. We’ve been more organized with procedures and shop cleanliness for six years, and jobs breeze through our shop now with no problem. Jeffrey Myers MAR Automotive Inc Philadelphia, PA

iPad, Do You? The next piece of electronics for your shop might be an iPad or something comparable. I hear that some guys are even trying to handle parts purchasing from their smart phones. Leave the phone for talking. A tablet or iPad could be used for many things around the shop and is very portable. It could be used for e-mailing customers and suppliers, or you can access the internet and place orders online with suppliers that offer

this service. You can use the “Notes” application as a running tab of parts to acquire or jobs that need to be accomplished. Use the built-in camera to send pictures to suppliers or customers. Use the internet search engines to find info on jobs you may not be familiar with while you’re at the workbench or machine working on it. I believe it might be possible in the future for you to access your own business software through your iPad from the furthest reaches of your shop or even from home. Dave Sutton Sterling Bearing Inc Minneapolis, MN

Making Your Own Custom Wrench For Headers For starters, find an old wrench you will not feel bad about bending and manipulating into the desired handle configuration. Then, I recommend a new sparkplug socket. (Make sure the wrench you choose will butt up to the socket.) Take the sparkplug socket and cut the end of the socket where the ratchet normally would hook to socket. Now take your wrench and the half cut socket and either tig weld or mig weld together. Bend the wrench in the desired position to make the removal and installation of your sparkplugs easier. The amount of socket you cut off is entirely up to you and your application. When done, the end of the sparkplug should be able to go all the way through to the end of the socket and fit in just about any location. Roy Maloney Engine & Performance Warehouse Houston, TX

Fuel System Corrosion Issues in Rarely Driven Vehicles The use of ethanol in modern gasoline has brought with it (among other things) the problem of corrosion in fuel systems, especially in seldom used older vehicles. Carburetors are especially vulner-


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able to ethanol corrosion. Drawing a line in the sand, if an older vehicle is carbureted, uses less than one tankful of fuel containing some ethanol every two to three weeks, especially if it is stored in a humid environment, it is a prime candidate for fuel system corrosion problems. The problem is that Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture. It is corrosive to the entire fuel system, especially carburetors, and ethanol dilution in motor oil leads to increased moisture in the crankcase, causing rust and other corrosion problems. Most new vehicle fuel systems are constructed with materials that resist damage from the current E10 (10%) ethanol mixture. This is not the case with older cars and cars with specialty performance parts. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has permitted the sale of fuel containing E15 (15% ethanol). This will make the problem significantly worse. Organizations such as SEMA are taking this decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If your or your customer’s vehicle fits the description in the first paragraph, you should strongly consider using a fuel additive containing corrosion inhibitors such as “Carb Defender.” And write to your congressman! ■ Engine Pro Technical Dept. With thanks to Lake Speed, Jr. Driven Racing Oil

Shop Solutions – The Power of Knowledge Engine Builder and Engine Pro present Shop Solutions in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine and at enginebuildermag.com. 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 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.

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Presented By:

Sponsored By:

ARE YOU THE 2013

Performance

ENGINE BUILDER Performance OF THE YEAR Award Winner? Award Award The second annual

Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award

ne s nk Ra cin g En gi ns ow et z, Ed Pi Ho k an Fr er nn 20 12 Wi

will be presented at a special ceremony during the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) December 8-11, 2013.

For complete contest information and the application form, visit

www.topperformanceshop.com Engine Builder magazine and DRIVEN RACING OIL are looking for the best example of creativity and innovation, training and education, merchandising and promotion, professional standards and conduct, appearance, solid business management, community involvement, business growth, achievement and victories.

WINNER WILL RECEIVE: • Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award • A check for $1,000 • An Apple iPad • Three nights lodging at the Indianapolis Hyatt • Admission for two to the 2013 Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) • A feature story on your business in the January 2014 issue • And MORE! Second- and Third-Place Finalists will be named and awarded as well!


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Feature

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Cylinder Head Porting

BY TECHNICAL EDITOR LARRY CARLEY LCARLEY@BABCOX.COM

Huge flow numbers may be impressive, but optimizing airflow at mid-valve lift is key to power

I

f airflow though a valve port is plot- cylinder head helps straighten out and ted on a graph for the entire valve improve airflow too. Many aftermarket cycle (from opening to peak lift and heads feature raised ports for this reaback to close), the area under the curve son. But if you go with raised port is total airflow, which corresponds to heads or raise the port location by porttotal power. So if you can fatten the ing the casting, you also have to make curve on both sides of peak lift in the sure the new port location lines up low to mid-range area rather than just with the ports in the intake manifold. raising the maximum peak, you end One way to visualize a port configuup with more total area under the ration is to make a 3D cast of the port. curve and more usable power. By pouring rubber compound into the Air velocity is affected by not only port and letting it cure, you can then the cross-sectional area and volume of pry out the mold casting to better see the intake port but also by the short what the port actually looks like. Or, turn radius of the intake port just you can take the high tech approach above the intake valve. If the curvature and digitally map the port with a 3D of the radius is too sharp for the volpinpoint plotting devise and import ume of air the port is trying to flow at the data into a CAD/CAM software high rpm, airflow starts to separate for further analysis and visualization. from the short side radius. This reWet Flow Testing stricts airflow and hurts potential How the air flows through the ports power. So for high rpm power, you can also affect fuel distribution and want a wider curve on the short side mixing. A traditional flow bench radius. On the other hand, if you’re doesn’t really tell you anything about porting a head for a street motor, you want good airflow and velocity at low rpm so a sharp radius works better for that kind of application. Keeping the crossAir velocity is affected by not only sectional area of the intake the cross-sectional area and volume port consistent up to the of the intake port but also by the short turn radius of the intake port point where the short side just above the intake valve. radius starts is recommended for best airflow. Sudden changes in port area can cause the air to speed up or slow down. The port volume also has to be matched to the engine size and rpm. A small block Chevy V8 head with 180cc port volume would be a good street head, but you would want larger ports for a high revving race engine. Raising the port location in the 16 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

what’s happening to the air/fuel mixture as it passes through the ports and enters the combustion chamber. Manufacturers often design a certain amount of swirl into the intake ports to improve air/fuel mixing for emissions and fuel economy. Swirl can also make power but only if it swirls the incoming air/fuel mixture in a beneficial way. Wet flow testing can reveal things about port flow that are totally invisible with ordinary flow testing. Mixing a fluid that contains UV dye with the air as it enters the port simulates what happens to the air/fuel mixture as it enters the combustion chamber. Viewing the chamber from underneath, you can often see the liquid puddling or streaking as a result of turbulence and misdirected swirl. Playing around with the port configuration can often reduce the puddling and separation that results in a loss of potential power. In the old days before flow benches


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were invented to measure airflow, heads were ported manually with a die grinder. A lot of trial-and-error experimentation was required to find out what made an engine run better on the track and what didn’t. Some changes in port configuration were obvious, like blending the port into the bowl area above the valve and matching the ports to the intake and exhaust manifolds. But the benefits of other changes were less obvious, and in some cases actually hurt airflow rather than improve it.

How Valves and Seats Affect Airflow

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The size of the valves, the angles on the valves and seats, and the placement of those angles on the valves and seats also has a significant impact on airflow. We’ve covered this topic in other articles so we won’t go too deep into it here. But to summarize the basics, the angles on the intake valves and seats have the most effect on airflow from about .350˝ to .400˝ lift. Beyond .400˝ lift, there is less effect because the opening is so wide. Multiple angles contour the valve seat and valve face to provide better airflow than a single angle. A typical 3-angle valve job of 30, 45 and 60 degrees may or may not improve flow depending on the head and the application. Airflow can vary from 10 to 30 cfm or more depending on the valve angles alone. According to one well-known head porter, the best flow numbers can be achieved using a special four to seven angle valve seat cutter -- not the usual 3-angle cutter that most shops use. On some performance engines, cutting the intake and exhaust seats to 50 to 55 degrees delivers the best airflow numbers and performance. Locating the valve seat as far out as possible on the valve face not only increases the effective diameter of the opening but also helps cool the valve better.

Is Porting Necessary? With so many aftermarket cylinder heads available today with excellent “as cast” ports and CNC machined ports, you can pretty much order just about anything you want – assuming your customer can afford it. On the other hand, if you are looking for a performance edge or are developing a custom application for which no existing heads are available, then doing your own porting may be your only option – that, or sending the heads out to a professional porter to have them reworked. The latter is recommended if you have little or no porting experience. Better to let somebody who knows what they are doing port the heads than screw up a perfectly good set of heads yourself! A knowledgeable head porter can clean up the bowls, raise the roofs of the intake and exhaust ports and probably find you an extra 30 to 40 horsepower for minimal cost. Circle 18 for more information 18 August 2013 | EngineBuilder


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THIS ISSUE: PG 22 >> Diesel Cranks & Rods

Developing a Port Profile

PG 28 >> Web Directory

PG 44 >> Marine Market

Feature

To port cylinder heads with a CNC machine, you need a machine with 5-axis capability. The CNC moves the head and tooling to reproduce all of the complex moves it takes to completely machine intake and exhaust ports.

Before flow benches, the only way a head porter could tell if his work improved airflow was if the car ran faster on the track or the engine made more power on a dyno. Today, we have flow benches that can generate and plot all kinds of data. You can compare “before” and “after” numbers to see if you’re going in the right direction or not. If you’re starting from scratch to develop a new port profile, you grind and test, then grind and test some more, and keep repeating until you are eventually satisfied with the results.

Porting Methods For light port matching and bowl blending with no significant changes in the cross-sectional area of the ports or the short side radius above the intake valve, you can usually accomplish what you want with a basic hand-held die grinder. Aluminum castings are fairly easy to port, but cast iron is much

harder and requires more physical effort and time. You also want a good sharp cutter that will cut quickly and cleanly. Many head porters will narrow or grind down the valve guide boss that protrudes into the intake port to remove the obstruction. But keep in mind the boss helps support the valve

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guide, and the shape and location of the boss can have a major impact on how the air/fuel mixture is directed into the combustion chamber. If you want to increase the port cross-sectional area and volume, you have to be very consistent in how the port is enlarged. The port should have a consistent cross-section and taper

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gradually toward the short side radius and intake valve. Hand porting a set of cylinder heads takes skill and expertise to achieve consistency. Even then, it’s hard to match the results that can be achieved much more quickly and easily with CNC porting. With CNC porting, once you have developed the port configuration you want on a flow bench, you can digitally map the port and replicate it again and again with near perfect consistency in the rest of the ports in the cylinder head. And once you have a good port configuration mapped, you can also modify it with CAD/CAM software for different engine applications.

CNC Porting To port cylinder heads with a CNC machine, you need a machine with 5-axis capability. A 5-axis machine can move the head and tooling to reproduce all of the complex moves it takes to completely machine intake and exhaust ports. Once the CNC machine has been programmed, it is automatic, requires no manual labor other than loading the machine, and is repeatable from one head to the next. The motions of the tooling are carefully choreographed so that metal is removed in exactly the right places. Figuring out how to program such intricate movements requires a fair amount of CNC know-how as well as software that is up to the job. If you’re new to CNC porting, don’t expect to start porting cylinder heads in the first few weeks after you’ve purchased your equipment. It might be six months to a year before you can CNC port heads confidently. A port that has been CNC machined usually requires little or no additional finishing. It will often flow just as well as a port that has been smoothed out and finished with a die grinder. CNC machining unfinished castings is probably the fastest and easiest way to custom port heads. Most aftermarket heads are available with cast ports, CNC machined ports or as raw unfinished castings so you can do your own porting. The problem with trying to modify an existing port is that if the casting is not thick enough, you may grind through a thin spot in the port wall. Besides, most of these heads flow so well out of the box that there’s little additional power to be gained by additional porting. Of course, sometimes porting may be necessary if a set of heads is being used on an engine with a big stroker crank or a large displacement aftermarket block that needs more airflow. It’s often possible to take a set of aftermarket performance heads that flow 260 to 270 cfm as is out of the box and rework them so they’ll deliver 330 to 340 cfm. If you are porting a new raw casting, you also have to be concerned about head stability. A green casting that has not yet been thermally cycled on an engine can actually shift around quite a bit. As the metal heats and cools, the head may distort and change the location of guides, seats and decks, which in turn may affect valve sealing and valve life. A new casting can be stabilized prior to machining it by heating and slow cooling it in an oven, cycling it through a hot parts washer several times, by shaking it at a frequency of 100 Hz to stress relieve the metal, and/or by cryogenically freezing the head. Once the casting has been stabilized, you can machine it and be confident that it will not change. ■ Circle 20 for more information 20 August 2013 | EngineBuilder


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Track Talk #BeAContender: Drive Home With The NEW 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Pickup-truck lovers never had it so good. When Toyota unveiled the new 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax at the 2013 Chicago auto show in February, the redesigned truck made big waves with its new larger-thanlife, chiseled persona. “Toyota prides itself on listening to its customers and the development of the 2014 American-born Tundra is a perfect example,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. The 2014 redesign represents the first major change since the launch of the current generation in 2007. Per consumer feedback, Toyota gave the new generation Tundra a more chiseled exterior and refined interior with easy-to-use technology. Combined with perform-

ance enhancements, the allnew Tundra is more of what motorists want in a full-size pickup, in addition to what they need. Translation: upgrades galore. Among them, Toyota designers increased the size of the front fascia and tightened up the character lines to punctuate Tundra’s pulling power. For improved performance, shock-absorber valving has been re-tuned to improve Tundra ride quality over harsh surfaces. Visually speaking, the chrome grille has a taller, bolder look visually connecting the upper intake to the lower bumper. The front lower bumpers are now a three-piece design, while the fenders and wheel wells have been squaredoff for a wide, sturdy stance.

The integrated spoiler in the deck helps with fuel efficiency, while the tail lamps express a tool-like quality to match the appearance of the body. An all-new bed design helps carry the chiseled character lines all the way down the profile, leading to a rugged new bed and tail gate. Perhaps best of all, passenger comfort was improved with an all-new front and rear seat design with improved front seat ventilation. CrewMax rear seats are now foldable for additional cargo carrying capability. The interior is equipped with an all-new instrument panel any gearhead would enjoy, plus a number of segment firsts, including a new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and standard Bluetooth. The new 2014 Tundra will reach Toyota dealers in September. And that’s just in time for the redesigned truck to take center stage at one of NASCAR’s most

popular events – NASCAR SM Contenders Live Sponsored by Toyota & Sprint – just days before the first race of the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR Contenders Live, which will feature the top12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, will take place on Sept. 12 at the Grand Ballroom at Chicago’s famed Navy Pier from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. CT. In conjunction with the event, Toyota is giving one lucky pickup aficionado the chance to take home the new 2014 Tundra CrewMax. “NASCAR Contenders Live gives Toyota a grand stage on which to connect with the fiercely loyal NASCAR fan base,” said Keith Dahl Toyota National Manager of Motorsports and Engagement Marketing. While the top-12 NASCAR drivers lay out their strategies to claim the ultimate prize – a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship – a lucky motorist will drive away with the ultimate pickup: the allnew Tundra. Enter to win the new 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax now through Aug. 23, 2013, plus tickets are available starting at $10 by visiting NASCAR.com/ contenderslive.

For fans following NASCAR Contenders Live Sponsored by Toyota and Sprint on Twitter please use hashtag #BeAContender. By: Kimberly Hyde, NASCAR Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook www.twitter.com/NASCARauto www.facebook.com/NASCARPerformance


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BY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR BOB MCDONALD BMCDONALD@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM

Diesel Cranks and Connecting Rods The demand for mid-size diesel performance products continues to grow

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here tends to be two sides of connecting rods. There are a few for the mid-size diesel spectrum: sale on some auction websites, but on one side there is street perhow do you know what you are purformance and on the other there is chasing? But if a used crankshaft or all-out race. Street performance connecting rod is your only option, diesels deal mainly with engine parts make sure you have the equipment to that are primarily for bolt-on applica- repair it or have access to a shop that tions and can make great power does. gains without sacrificing the integrity Unfortunately, there aren’t many of the vehicle as a daily driver. Allmachine shops in the crankshaft and out racing diesel engine builders typ- connecting rod repair business anyically get more involved in custom more. Fortunately, however, my local made internal engine components in machine facility is equipped to reconorder to withstand the stress from the dition these components. So if you do huge amount of torque they produce. have a reputable facility to perform In a typical mid-size diesel engine, these tasks correctly, that’s great. But for example, replacement parts such if you do not, there are some things as pistons are pretty easily obtainto think about before sending your able. But this is not the case with parts out for machining. diesel cranks and rods, for the most Will the crankshaft be properly inpart. dexed? Will the rods be checked for If something happens roundness? to the crank or rod of a Some aftermarket manufacturers daily driver or street peroffer custom H-beam and I-beam formance truck, odds are diesel connecting rods with that you won’t buy a reeither a slant cap or straight cap, placement from the mandepending on the application. ufacturer. The prices are so high that you (and your customer’s budget) might consider buying a used engine instead. That’s what happened with a friend of mine when the crankshaft broke in his Dodge Cummins work truck. The engine was totally stock and had started knocking. The oil pan was removed to reveal that the crankshaft had broken in half. It was later discovered that there was some sort of error in a batch of crankshafts from the foundry. If you do some research, you will find that there are no remanufacturers of mid-size diesel crankshafts or 22 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

Will the parts be balanced? What about magnafluxing and shotpeening? Be sure to ask what services they provide.

Crankshafts As for all-out performance, whether for drag racing or tractor pulling, the aftermarket has stepped up. There are several crankshaft manufacturers that offer custom crankshafts for Power Stroke, Duramax and Cummins engines. Due to the high torque loads and cylinder pressures these engines can generate, a lot of engineering and work goes into making a custom crankshaft for these applications. For instance, a custom crankshaft for a mid-size diesel can cost around $7,500 for some applications. A very high price to pay, but there are more than 100 processes that some


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manufacturers put their crankshafts through before the customer receives the final product. A stock diesel crankshaft is typically forged, a process in which a chunk of steel, usually made of 4340 or 1020 alloy, is heated to a certain temperature, and pounded into shape with a forging die. This is why forged cranks have such wide parting lines due to the material that oozes out during the process. Forging offers strength compared to casting. A “cast” component, on the other hand, is made when the material is melted and poured into a mold. But it could leave areas where the material is thicker or thinner and is prone to stress cracks. A custom crankshaft for diesel engines is made from a solid chunk of billet steel that is literally carved into shape. The steel is usually 4340 alloy, which is the most common for crankshafts due to the fact that it offers high tensile strength (the maximum stress that a material can withstand

before failing). Also, 4340 responds well to heat-treating, which is performed after machining and increases the tensile strength further. During the heat treatment process the crankshaft is subject to extreme heat in order to control the behavior of the material often referred to as its “grain.” This process offers core hardness, and the crankshaft is hardened all the way through, increasing the stiffness of the material. Some crankshafts are “nitrided,” a process during which nitrogen is diffused into the surface of the metal to create case-hardening. This is used to increase bearing life and durability. What are some things you need to consider when purchasing a diesel crankshaft? First, what do you want it to weigh? The rule of thumb is if you wish to lighten the crank, you can safely reduce the weight by 5 percent, but no more than 10 percent. The more you lighten the crankshaft, the less durable it will be. But a lighter crankshaft has less rotating mass, so the en-

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gine will rev up quicker. But lighter cranks also have less inertia and will drop revs fast as well. What bearing sizes should you consider for the rods and the mains? Everything seems to be getting smaller. NASCAR engines use the same size bearings today as a Honda, but does this mean that smaller is better? The point of smaller rods and mains is to reduce the bearing surface and lower the bearing speed. How do we know what the bearing speed is – and can we measure this on a dyno? We know it has made some impact on power or else it would not be used, but how much did this information cost? This is all a part of the balancing act. The larger the diameter of the rod journal, the weaker the connecting rod, and the smaller the main journal, the weaker the backbone of the crank will be. So it’s a wise idea if you can increase the size of the crankshaft without sacrificing material for the connecting rod. The more inertia from the weight of the crankshaft will off-

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set the bearing speed. ally two different ways. One is with The counterweights of the crankchemical etching and the other is with shaft are also something to consider. some sort of media. When finished, Some shops do what is known as the entire crankshaft literally looks knife-edging. This is where the counlike a mirror. The primary reason for terweights of the crankshaft are mathis process is to allow the crankshaft chined to look like a knife blade to shed oil. This, in turn, creates less rather than just aeration of the oil and If you’re building big diesel being square cut helps lower oil temperapower, you’ll need a custom crank from the factory. ture. made from billet or aircraft-grade The theory bematerial to handle the load. hind this is to help the crankshaft “cut” through the oil as the counterweight rotates in the oil pan. This is used to gain better oil control and create less windage. The method now has shifted from knife-edging to more sophisticated, aerodynamically engiConnecting Rods neered counterweights. Some counEngine builders who want to make terweights now resemble raindrops, big diesel power, will also need to which create less oil splash and deconsider the integrity of their connectflection. Custom crankshafts are also ing rods. Most mid-size diesel enoffered with what is known as migines up until the late ’90s to early cropolishing. This is performed usu-

26 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

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2000s were forged. Then, manufacturers started using powered metal material for their connecting rods. Powered metal was fine for stock applications, but as simple bolt-ons were added to increase performance, these parts began to fail. This is something to consider when looking for power gains out of newer diesel engines. Connecting rods in a diesel engine can see a lot of stress because of the higher compression ratios. Just as with crankshafts, aftermarket companies have answered the call for producing performance connecting rods. Some companies are offering stock lengths and bearing sizes, while others are offering custom sizes for specific applications. Most aftermarket stock replacement rods are made of forged material such as 4340 with an addition of chrome, nickel, moly and vanadium. This improves grain flow, strength and durability. When purchasing a set of aftermarket forged


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rods, manufacturers often offer reconditioning services when engines are in need of freshening. These reconditioning services can include: • Visual inspection; • Straightness and alignment; • Magnaflux for cracks; • Bushing replacement; • Hone big and small ends; • Resize big and small end; • Check bolts and change if needed; • Shotpeen; and • Balance if necessary. Forged aftermarket rods are tough and can take some serious abuse. Connecting rods of this caliber should offer a lifetime of use and can be reconditioned at a fraction of the cost. For more serious power, certain manufacturers now offer fully machined billet for custom applications. These billet rods are offered in an “H” or “I” beam design with a choice of a straight cap or slanted cap and your choice of fasteners. Slant cap designs are often used for cam clearance or small bore applications. Most custom billet rods are fitted with bushings on the small end for the wrist pins but can be machined for press-fit wrist pins if the they are coated with diamond-like coating. When using billet connecting rods, typical factory bearing clearances work well unless you’re using a higher viscosity oil. Clearances may need to be increased depending on application. For some diesel applications, aluminum connecting rods are also being manufactured and used with great success. Whether you’re in need of a custom crankshaft or connecting rod, or just want to upgrade your existing package, aftermarket manufacturers are tailoring their products for your needs. And many aftermarket manufacturers are using quality materials made here in the USA, machined to exact tolerances and specifications to meet the demands of your performance diesel package. ■ Special thanks to Carrillo, R&R Connecting Rods and Winberg Crankshafts for their help with this article. For a complete list of diesel crankshaft and rod suppliers, visit our online buyers guide at EngineBuilderMag.com/BuyersGuide. Circle 27 for more information EngineBuilderMag.com 27


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unning a successful engine building operation today requires more than great machining skill, it requires attention to all aspects of your business, which includes marketing and communicating with current and future customers. You must search out new markets and engage with participants or other industry experts. While it’s true that your business cards are great for marketing and money well spent, so too is building a social media and Internet presence. Instead of competing with the shop down the street, you can now focus on a broader market for your services and products. The following pages are devoted to helping you develop your website and social media strategies. 28 August 2013 | EngineBuilder


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BY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR UWE KLEINSCHMIDT UKLEINSCHMIDT@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM

WEBSITE SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTORY

AVOID THE JUNK BIN Google introduces tools to help small businesses online

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ith all the Google changes, small businesses are scrambling to avoid being relegated to the Internet’s junk bin. Whether it’s Google search, social media or what to do with Google+, you’ll find answers to the most challenging questions in the following. What is the difference between AdWords and AdWords Express? Google is perfecting its tool suite to post ads almost every month. What goes along with that is the complexity of hundreds of settings, and most small business owners struggle to find the correct configuration for their needs. Google has introduced AdWords Express to make it easier to set up AdWords campaigns. Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages of both types of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Setup – AdWords: With a long and complex list of settings, AdWords experts make sure that every thinkable aspect of your ad campaign is set correctly. A fully thought-out campaign can take an hour or two to set up, and that’s if you know exactly what you want and all the tests for effectiveness have already been done. AdWords’ biggest advantage is the ability to configure key words of your campaign. Setup – AdWords Express: With AdWords Express, you select the category you want to promote (for example, brake repair), type in a description of your business, set your budget and off you go. You can be set up within 10 minutes. 30 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

One downside to AdWords Express is you can’t pick your own key words; Google does this for us, based on its research of what groups of key words best represent the category. So don’t be surprised if “car service” gets you hits for “limo service,” as Google thinks they are synonyms. Appearance – AdWords: There is a significant variety of ways to configure your ad’s appearance on Search and on Google Maps, for example, phone number, location, etc. AdWords, however, has no ability to let Google reviews shine. Appearance – AdWords Express: The biggest benefit of AdWords Express is the way ads appear,

Google? Google does regular housekeeping campaigns and cleans out suspicious reviews. Suspicious because one Gmail account created too many reviews, suspicious because one IP address logged into too many Gmail accounts, etc. Unfortunately, more often than not, genuine reviews get deleted, while some reappear and some don’t. There is nothing you can do about it, other than be genuine and do not game the system.

especially after Google turned the 5star rating of Google reviews into a score. The human eye immediately detects the 5-star rating and checks it out. The score seems hidden and complicated by comparison. Why do reviews disappear on

I want to place a video on the home page of my website. How long should the video be? Our research indicates that placing videos of any length on the homepage is not ideal. Think about it: visitors typically take 15 seconds to get

What is Reverse Proxy? Many small business owners like to track the phone traffic to their shop or store. Since Google punishes tracking phone numbers on websites by giving them a low ranking, only PPC campaigns can be used to add a tracking phone number on a website different from the one found by the Google crawler. In order to avoid duplicate content, which is another reason for a Google ranking decrease, but still be able to add another phone number, a technique called Reverse Proxy is used. All hits from the PPC campaign still go to the original site and the Google crawler is told to ignore the shadowed copy. Copyright issues still arise and need to be discussed with your web designer, since technically it is a 100% copy of the original website.


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permission-based marketing, which is — getting the permission. In our own tests with buying email addresses and looking at e-mail stats from clients who converted from other vendors that offered email buying services, the verdict is clear: Bounce rates (invalid e-mail addresses) sky rocket and opening rates (does the recipient care about your message?) plummet. Look at it this way: you are a local business providing local services to local customers. This is sustainable only by maintaining a trusted relationship. Buying e-mail addresses is like trying to buy a trusted relationship. You be the judge on whether that is possible. ■

Most small businesses struggle to find the best configuration. So Google has introduced AdWords Express to make it easier to set up AdWords campaigns.

a first impression of your business on the home page before they decide to explore the site further. The time available to watch the video is simply too short, and our research indicates that click rates are less than 2% for videos on the home page and, thus, waste precious real-estate. Mobile applications are highly advertised by many suppliers to the auto repair industry. Why are they important? Why would anybody remember an auto repair app and tap it three months after installation? App providers want to be on as many phones as possible, but to make a difference, the content needs to be interesting and have repeat value. A good way to remind the motorist about your app is via push notifications (the pop up boxes on

your iPhone) about promotions, service reminders and the like. Check out our mobile app blog.autovitals.com/ going-mobile-areyou-in/ to see what I mean. Isn’t buying e-mail addresses that match my customer database the best way to build up e-mail addresses? At first sight, buying e-mail addresses is a convenient way of building up your list. The question is, how much are those worth? Every one of us hates to see e-mails flooding our inbox, especially those that are unexpected or that make us wonder, how the heck did the sender get their hands on my e-mail address? In other words, buying e-mail addresses violates the ground rule of

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Uwe Kleinschmidt is CEO of Auto Vitals, a leading supplier of web-based marketing and service advisor productivity tools. For more information, visit www.autovitals.com.

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WEBSITE SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTORY

ALL ATWITTER

BY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR DAVE MONYHAN DMONYHAN@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM

You can’t ignore the power of social media anymore, no matter how much you may want to

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o you said (actually, I said) a more than that, nope they won’t let couple of years ago that “Social ya…. 140 is the rule and it cannot be Media” is for teenagers and broken (Believe me I have tried). I movie stars, and fancy-pants types will admit it does get a little easier that yearn for ego fixes on a continwhen you have to say what you need ued basis. Yeah I am talking about to say directly and succinctly and in Twitter, and all the other newly cretime you will get a handle on it. ated outlets in this crazy new elecOkay, so maybe you’re already tronic world we all live in. Yes, I was down with the new social marketing one of those who said you will never and you have your Twitter account – find ME checking MY Facebook page now what? Well I had the same probor doing any of that Twitter stuff. lem: what to do with this and what You can’t drag ME by the ankles, to write about and what not to write kicking and screaming into this new about, who should I follow and who world order of communication! do I want to follow me? Nope. Not me, not no way, and not I came to the conclusion that anyno-how! thing that has to do with your busiHello, my name is Dave and ness should or could be tweeted out. today I am a Tweeter! I tawt I taw a Now I am not saying you have to puddy tat? tweet a hundred times a day, but I do Yes, I have stepped up to embrace say to tweet something about your this new technologically advanced shop or services that you think your world of 21st century communicacustomers or followers should know. tion, and now, I too, create the occaSomething as simple as stating that sional tweet to all of my followers. you resize each and every connecting Who would have thought that there rod on each and every build you do. would be any people on “We install new the planet out there all Setting up a Twitter account is waiting to see what I am simple and free. You may want going to tweet next? Well, to set up a personal account as I must admit that I now well as one for your shop. Tweetthink this twitter deal is ing can expand your audience. really just another vehicle that when used properly can inform and transmit information in a shorter time, and to more people than the simple emails we currently send. Tweeting can expand your audience by a 100 fold and even go viral if you get enough retweets. This can mean a great new expanded group of potential customers. Keep in mind when tweeting you only have 140 characters to say your whole deal. This of course has been my biggest challenge as all of you know Dave Monyhan is never going to stop talking when he hits the 140 character limit. But you can’t do any 32 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

cam bearings,” and things like “we just invested to have the latest boring and honing equipment, as well as all late model machines through-out the shop.” Tell your followers that your machinist(s) is (are) ASE certified. These are all badges of honor that you provide to your valued customers and, yes, you need to tell them! Keep your message simple and direct. Don’t add any fluff just get to the point and let it be. I know I have over-analyzed many a tweet only to not tweet anything at all. I have used humor in my tweets. I have used new products in my tweets. I have used technical advice or observations in tweets and I have re-tweeted other tweeters tweets that I thought were worthy of a re-tweet. Now ain’t that sweet. I read an article by Charlene Kingston who wrote an eBook called “Twitter for Beginners.” Charlene states that people tweet a variety of information that may pertain to your


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business, observations in life, interesting things you may have read, inspiring thoughts and everyday work or personal details. Charlene goes on to state that there are over 500,000 new Twitter accounts activated every day. There are over 26 million mobile users out there. Now I won’t even begin to believe that there would be 26 million people who would follow our segment of the business which is engine building, but in our world there are quite a large number of active daily tweeters out there, tweeting all kinds of good information and other subjects that could be beneficial to you and your business.

So why use Twitter? 1. For business communication; 2. To keep in touch with your peers; or keep an eye on your competitors; 3. To reach out to potential customers; and 4. To drive traffic to your website or blog. Your Twitter friends are the people you follow who also follow you back. Your Twitter fans are people who follow you but you don’t follow them back, and your Twitter inspiration are the people you follow who don’t follow you back. Now does that make sense? Don’t worry, it will in time. There are five types of Tweets you can send: 1. General Tweets. This is a public Tweet to everyone who follows you. 2. Replies. A public tweet sent to a specific person on Twitter. You may send a @reply (at Reply) in response to a Tweet sent out by a person. Or you can use the @reply to send a message to anyone on Twitter. 3. Mentions. Very similar to a @reply, but the @username is not at the start of the Tweet. 4. Direct message. A private Tweet sent to a person who follows you. Remember you cannot send a direct message to someone who does not follow you. See now it’s all making perfect since. 5. Now you have the ability to add “favorite tweet” and of course if you see a really cool tweet you can re-tweet any tweet that trips your tweetin’ trigger.

Let’s face it, you can either ignore the rush of the world going by or you can get on board and improve your business with this newly created vehicle to carry your message. What the message is, all up to you. Start out tweeting in your comfort zone and work up to the more detailed or technical tweets and be sure to watch who is following you and who you are following. Watch as your community of followers grows and be sure to be consistent in your

Your personal Twitter account may include business followers, but it should also include things you are interested in. Your business account, on the other hand, should be for your shop and engaging customers.

tweets. If you’re interested, my twitter handle is @GoodsonDave, and I invite you all to follow and contribute responses to what it is I may be tweeting about. It is a great way to exchange points of view and I get to actually learn in the process. Welcome to the 21st century! See ya in the shop! ■ EngineBuilderMag.com 33


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WEBSITE SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTORY

GETTING SOCIAL

BY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR MICHAEL FREEZE MFREEZE@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM

You must engage your customers to gain new business

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s the Internet has matured throughout the past decade, it has provided a different path for manufacturers and distributors alike. All automotive companies are concerned about sales and getting their product in their customer’s hand. Print and television advertising has been and still is an effective method, but the industry has also found some footing in Web and social media marketing as well. The next online frontier, social media, has quickly become the route of communication for most people by utilizing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others. Once dismissed as a virtual playground for teenagers, the medium of social media has become intertwined in modern society and entered the lexicon of culture (tweet, poke, like, follow, etc.). Although the younger crowd still rules the social networking realm, social media is growing fast among older adults. In August 2013, a Pew study found that social networking site usage for those aged 30-49 has risen more than 30 percent since 2009. The study also suggest that as the young adults grow older, social media will reach a point of social density – the moment when the technology is taken for granted (i.e., email, cameras on smartphones).

regular basis is give our social media friends an inside look at motorsports events,” says Bill McKnight of MAHLE Clevite Inc. “Not everyone can go the NASCAR garage at Charlotte, the Bonneville Salt Flats or the NTPA Bowling Green Nationals, but we can. Posting photos every day gives people the opportunity to see what’s going on.” Aftermarket companies like MAHLE Clevite have taken a proactive approach to social media. Its satellite portal, Askmahleclevite.com allows visitors to ask questions and seek help concerning technical issues. McKnight said 90 percent of the inquiries are answered in less than 24-hours. “Our goals are pretty simple: Brand recognition, brand association, customer recognition and user feedback,” he says. “We also use Twitter to communicate with friends and customers.” For example, MAHLE Clevite has received more than 55,000 likes on its

Business & Social Media The business world has taken notice. Many companies from fast-food restaurants to online colleges are vying for anyone’s attention, young or old. Organizations are taking to Facebook to The sure fire way to establish credibility is blogging. Much enter prospective cusof blogging involves a niche tomers into contests, subject such as installation tips coupon offers or a pathor tracking an engine-building way toward their own process to attract a specific website. demographic. “One thing we do on a 34 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

Facebook just through basic interaction with its customer base. Companies like these, say social media expert Eric Smith, follow a standard plan when it comes to online networking. “The manufacturers objective should be three-fold: Entertain their social media followers, educate them, and interact and communicate directly with them,” he said. As the head of Smith Advertising & Social Media, Smith specializes in social media management; marketing and consulting to train companies to utilize the medium more effectively. He said the automotive aftermarket manufacturers could greatly benefit by participating and being active in social media for many reasons. “The end user whether it be a DIYer or even a repair facility or installation shop has very little contact with the manufacturer,” Smith said. “Social media is an excellent way for them to connect to and communicate with users of their products.”


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For instance, Smith’s firm worked for about a year and a half, but we closely with Melling Engine Parts to weren’t able to generate user numpromote their series of technical bers to support the outlay of money videos through Melling’s YouTube and time required to keep it viable,” channel and Facebook page. By McKnight says. “We had good feedraising awareness of those videos back on technical articles as well as through Twitter and Pinterest, blogs from events like the Bonneville several Melling distributors have emSpeed Week. We had fresh technical bedded the videos on their own webmaterial every week as well as photo sites and social media accounts which essays, but we’re really not sure why further exposes them and we didn’t succeed.” educates all levels of Melling Smith contended the culprit is poscustomers. sibly Father Time. Some aftermarket “These video topics (installation, manufacturers have been successful prime pumps, etc.) are very educaplayers for quite some time. They’ve tional and relevant and will be for years to come,” Smith said. “So whether someone watches the video today, tomorrow or in three years, it will help them and promote Melling at the same time.” McKnight concurred that having that type of interaction with the end user, especially for wholesale manufacturers, is a desired advantage. “Since we sell through a chain of Some companies have grown their social media distribution, we were alfollowing just by interacting with customers. ways isolated from the actual user/consumer of our effectively served their customer base products,” he said. “The web/social before the use of the Internet and media has allowed us to reach and social media and haven’t seen the support these groups like we never need to devote time and money to the could in the ‘old days.’” medium just for a limited benefit. Old Guard vs. New Guard Smith says it’s just a case of seeing the While some automotive companies forest before the trees. have found a reasonable amount of “If they don’t understand it, they success in social media, there are still just blow it off and that trickles down others that have ran against hurdles to social media as well,” he says. “Unof effectiveness. Smith said that less they jump in and learn it just a despite its allure of opportunities, little bit, they won’t understand it.” social media is still a puzzle for the inSmith says the companies who’re dustry. figuring out the social media maze “The automotive aftermarket is are finding the avenues to reach a very slow in adopting this online newer generation of customers. “Take presence. In general, websites have for instance, a company like Melling been around for about 25 years now,” Engine Parts or Hastings Piston he said. [The aftermarket hasn’t] stud- Rings: Melling has been around for 75 ied it enough to see how much value years and Hastings nearly 100 years,” it has.” he explains. “The majority of engine The disconnection may come from builders reading this are pretty familthe framed mindset of equating iar with both companies. action to a particular sale or profit, “Now, with the non-trade people, especially when attempting to enter the younger kids, new age of hot-rodthe social media/blogging space. “We ders whether they drive a Honda, had an enthusiast-oriented website Acura, Ford or Dodge, these kids 36 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

weren’t even a thought in their parent’s mind when these companies were in their heyday,” he continues. “So, these 20-somethings with all the money they want to spend on their cars, they may have no clue about these iconic companies that been around for nearly 100 years. And they are the ones who are on Facebook and YouTube everyday. That is the goal: To reach the Generation X’s and Y’s.” McKnight says, from what he sees in the industry, the acceptance of the Internet and other non-traditional methods of reaching the customer base have grown at a respectable rate, but the effort has to become fully implemented to succeed. “The challenges of having a Web presence include changing the customer thinking, employee thinking and management thinking, plus appropriating both the time and money required to be successful on the Web,” McKnight says. “Unlike some companies, we don’t have someone just responsible for social media, it’s a collective effort.”

The Expert in the Space The way to win the social media game is to know what you’re taking about. Successful online networking plans, Smith says, place an emphasis on education. “By doing the Melling technical videos, the company has positioned themselves as the expert in the field of oiling systems and oil pumps,” he notes. “They’re there to help the engine builder and customer with as much information as possible to make them successful.” The sure fire way to establish credibility is blogging. Much of blogging involves a niche subject such as installation tips or tracking an enginebuilding process to attract a specific demographic like an auto enthusiast that would most likely purchase a product. If the content is frequently provided with helpful technical advice to its end user, a manufacturer can benefit from more visitors from search engine results leading them back to the company website, which is an added bonus for a wholesale manufacturer. “We are the experts in the products we sell. For years people have looked to us for technical information, prod-


34-37 Web story 3 8/15/13 8:20 AM Page 37

uct support and catalog information,” says the most successful updates on McKnight said. “What electronic Facebook pages, Twitter Feeds, and media has done is expanded our Pinterest Pages have absolutely nothavenues and opportunities to reach ing to do with the company's products. not only our customers, but their The best posts are of cars, funny saycustomers.” ings or e-cards, wishing people Blogging also brings assurance to “Happy 4th of July” or “Have a great most automotive-minded readers that weekend” things like that. These type the information they seek is coming updates on Social Media usually have from a company they trust since the the most “likes, shares, and comInternet is notorious for spreading ments.” faulty and reckless technical advice. Educate: Since you have a captive “The other side of blogging is that audience on social media – people who any regular Joe can write a blog, and have chosen to follow you because they might write about something as they are interested in your company if they know what they are talking about, but in reality they don’t,” Smith says. “But unfortunately, people reading it think, ‘If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.’ There’s a lot of bad information. If a company puts something out, it is coming from a qualified source. The big thing with blogs is that they take a lot of time. When someone searches for Many blogs focus on a particular topic, such as engine you on Google, all of building, racing, sports or mobile technology. that content is indexed and it increases and like your products – you have an the chances of a customer finding the excellent opportunity to share info on right information. Consumers know new products, tech tips, where to meet what the company is doing and it is coming directly from them. It is good, us (shows, etc). These posts are good, but should only be done 25% of the accurate information from the technitime. cal department.” Interact and Communicate: Often Smith concluded that having a social media presence is quickly trans- social media users will ask a question forming from a once-added bonus to a or make a comment and it is EXTREMELY important to get back to required component for success in them or acknowledge them and retoday’s business environment. spond in appropriate manner. In some “Social media in today's society is cases you will receive negative feedhere to stay and a main way that back, but that is ok, and should be emmany people communicate with each braced by your company. other as well as communicate with I can assure you that people are businesses,” Smith explains. “If you talking about your company online are not involved you are missing out and on social media sites like Facebook on this opportunity to connect with customers and users of your product.” and Twitter whether you know it or not! Embrace it, learn from it, commuEntertain, Educate and nicate with these people and they will Communicate respect you even more for doing that. Smith details the three objectives to Often times other customers will come running an effective social media to your rescue and post responses platform: about your company in a positive light Entertain: From his experience, he and be an advocate for you! ■

Steps to Entering the Blogosphere Although the mountain of social media seems daunting, here are some easy steps to get started: Creating a company Facebook page: By visiting its business page (https://www.facebook.com/business/overview), Facebook provides step-by-step instruction to building a functional company page. Best of all, it’s free. Here’s how to do it: • Step One: Build Your Page: Through a series of fields, you can enter basic information about your engine shop to introduce the audience to your business. • Step Two: Connect with People: This can achieved in two ways: Reach like-minded people oneon-one or utilize Facebook’s ad service (fee required) to reach your intended audience. • Step Three: Engage Your Audience: After you’ve set up your page, it is time to post quality and relevant information such as helpful links, photos from your business or special offers to keep your audience checking your page frequently. Source: Facebook

Create a Blog “Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. Blogs can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects. Many blogs focus on a particular topic, such as engine building, racing, sports or mobile technology. Here are some samples: • Lloyd’s Automotive Blog http://lloydsautomotive.net/blog (Lloyd’s Automotive Service, St. Paul, MN) • The Goodson Gazette (Goodson Shop Supplies) www.goodson.com/blog • The Winner’s Circle (Del West Engineering) www.delwestengineering.com/winnerscircleblog There are several website that offer help to those new to blogging and building a website. Here are the leading blogging and website services: • WordPress.com • Blogger.com • GoDaddy.com • Intuit.com EngineBuilderMag.com 37


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Website & Social Media Directory Spotlights

SBI.com MAHLE Clevite The MAHLE Clevite Inc. aftermarket website has been specifically designed to allow for the transfer of technical data and product information on our full product portfolio in the most effective format. The online catalog, Launchpad, allows users to search for any product and includes an electronic ordering function tied directly into customer accounts. Additionally, the website houses a wealth of company news, product catalogs and other literature for download. The social presence of MAHLE Clevite is designed to both educate and integrate technicians and enthusiasts alike. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, the MAHLE Clevite YouTube channel allows users to watch videos highlighting the advantages of MAHLE Clevite products.

With SBI’s website, you’ll find all the information you need on our high-quality, latemodel valvetrain parts within just a couple of clicks. New to our website is the comprehensive SBI e-catalog frequently updated and complete with more than 2,000 engine applications, detailed specifications and photos of each of the more than 5,000 SBI valvetrain parts, and one of the most complete, up-to-date OEM/aftermarket-to-SBI part number interchange search functions available in the industry. Also new to the website is SBI Tech Library, which provides an extensive archive of valvetrain parts information in tech bulletins, articles and videos. On our Downloads page, you can find a .pdf version of the just-released SBI 30th Anniversary Catalog, a Master Part Number Interchange List, and useful technical information. Also note that there’s a Spanish version of SBI webpages. You’ll waste no time in finding exactly what you need on the SBI website. Online catalog: sbi-e-catalog.com Catalog download: http://tinyurl.com/l7gcu6c

MAHLE CLEVITE INC. www.mahle-aftermarket.com Phone: (734) 975-4777

38 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

SB INTERNATIONAL www.sbintl.com Phone: (800) The-SEAT


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EngineBuilderMag.com The Engine Builder website – www.enginebuilder mag.com – 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, plus exclusive online-only content. Currently the site receives more than 180,000+ page views/impressions per month and still growing! You can also sign up for Engine Builder’s weekly electronic newsletter and have all of the industry happenings delivered directly to your inbox. With award-winning writers like contributing editor Doug Anderson, who has been covering technical rebuilding and remanufacturing issues for Engine Builder for more than 20 years, and technical editor Larry Carley, who has written for Babcox for more than 25 years – Engine Builder’s digital properties continue the same great coverage that our magazine readers have come to expect and new online readers are discovering for themselves. Engine Builder’s social media pages are also a growing community of like-minded engine afficionados and a great place to interact with other readers and shops to get the latest updates on what we’re working on. Be sure to visit our Facebook page (Facebook.com/EngineBuilder) and give us a “Like” and we’ll show you some love with a special Engine Builder temporary tattoo!

Motovicity.com Motovicity Distribution’s website is a useful tool for any shop, tuner or engine builder. When customers login, they can access a variety of helpful tools for their business; everything from up-to-date manufacturer price files to a comprehensive line card of Motovicity’s quickly growing family of brands. Customers are also able to search for parts by vehicle, part number or keyword and can be kept abreast of their purchasing activity by viewing their order history, billing statements and any backorders that may exist. Motovicity.com also keeps customers aware of current promotions and offers. For the most recent product announcements and promotion details, customers can visit Motovicity’s MotoBlog at http://blog.motovicity.com. The MotoBlog not only provides visitors with breaking news announcements, but also features original videos, interviews with manufacturers and industry icons, technical articles and stories contributed by Motovicity’s talented staff of racers, enthusiasts and builders. Best of all, the MotoBlog is available for all to access and read. But for the quick feed of what is going on in the world of Motovicity and its family of brands, Motovicity’s Facebook page is the first place to start. Not one to post for posting sake, Motovicity’s Facebook page is a gathering of brilliant images, exciting event coverage, unique content and the latest in trending news from hundreds of manufacturers – serving as a true hub for the latest and greatest in industry information. Additionally, people can view all of Motovicity’s videos by visiting YouTube and typing “motovicity” into the search bar. Facebook: www.facebook.com/motovicity MotoBlog: http://blog.motovicity.com Motovicity Line Card: http://www.motovicity.com/line-card.aspx

Facebook: www.facebook.com/enginebuilder

ENGINE BUILDER www.enginebuildermag.com

MOTOVICITY DISTRIBUTION www.motovicity.com Phone: (888) SPEED-16 EngineBuilderMag.com 39


COMPANY NAME, WEBSITE

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MAHLE

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SBI

www.sbi.com

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ACCESS INDUSTRIES AERA - ENGINE BUILDERS ASSN.

www.aera.org

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AIR FLOW RESEARCH

www.airflowresearch.com ALL PRO CYLINDER HEADS, INC.

www.allproheads.com

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AMSOIL INC.

www.amsoil.com www.apexauto.com ARP

www.arp-bolts.com ATECH MOTORSPORTS

www.atechmotorsports.com

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AUTOMOTIVE PARTS REMANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION

www.apra.org

AVIAID OIL SYSTEMS

www.aviaid.com www.bakerengineeringinc.com

www.brcperformance.com

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www.callies.com

www.alwaysachampion.com CHURCH & DWIGHT CO., INC./ ARMAKLEEN COMPANY

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BRC PERFORMANCE

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www.bhjdynamics.com

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CLEMCO INDUSTRIES CORP.

www.clemcoindustries.com CLOYES GEAR & PRODUCTS

www.cloyes.com COMETIC GASKETS

www.cometic.com COMP CAMS

www.compcams.com DESIGN ENGINEERING, INC.

www.designengineering.com DIAMOND PISTONS

www.diamondracing.net DRIVEN RACING OIL

www.joegibbsdriven.com DURA-BOND BEARING COMPANY

www.dura-bondbearing.com EAGLE SPECIALTY PRODUCTS INC.

www.eaglerod.com EDELBROCK

www.edelbrock.com EGGE MACHINE CO.

www.egge.com ELGIN INDUSTRIES

www.elginind.com ENDURAL, LLC

www.endural.com ENGINE & PERFORMANCE WAREHOUSE (EPWI)

www.epwi.net ENGINE PARTS GROUP

www.enginepro.com www.goenginepro.com ENGINE REBUILDERS COUNCIL (ERC)

www.enginerepower.org ERSON CAMS

www.pbm-erson.com ESCO INDUSTRIES INC.

www.escousa.com FAST

www.fuelairspark.com FEL-PRO/FEDERAL-MOGUL CORPORATION

www.felpro-only.com GOODSON TOOLS & SUPPLIES FOR ENGINE BUILDERS

www.goodson.com GOODWIN COMPETITION

www.goodwincompetition.com

AINM Shop or ENT Manufac tu rin Photo Alb ums - Jo g Center Virtual b in To Photos Custome -Process / Com urs r Submis pleted Videos sions Free App s or Inte ractive F unctiona SOCIA lity L MEDIA Faceboo k Intera ctivity Twitter F eed YouTube Forums

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INFO COMPANY NAME, WEBSITE GRAYMILLS CORP.

www.graymills.com HASTINGS MANUFACTURING CO. INC.

www.hastingsmfg.com HILBORN FUEL INJECTION

www.hilborninjection.com HUGHES ENGINES

www.hughesengines.com INGLESE

www.inglese.com JASPER ENGINES & TRANSMISSIONS

www.jasperengines.com JONES MACHINE RACING PRODUCTS

www.jonesracingproducts.com KING ELECTRONICS CO. LLC

www.4king.com KING ENGINE BEARINGS

www.kingbearings.com LIBERTY ENGINE PARTS

www.libertyengineparts.com LIGHTNING CONNECTING RODS LLC

www.lightningconnectingrods.com LINCOLN ELECTRIC

www.lincolnelectric.com LUNATI

www.lunatipower.com MANLEY PERFORMANCE

www.manleyperformance.com MARTIN WELLS

www.martinwellsco.com MELLING ENGINE PARTS

www.melling.com MIRACLEAN ULTRASONICS

www.miraclean.com

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MORRIS COUPLING – GRAND BENDING DIVISION

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RMAT Contact ION Info Address rmation by Dep AL /Hours/P a hone Nu rtment Interacti mber ve Map/D irections Compan y News Product Des RSS New criptions/Info/P hotos sF Racing S eed eries or Industry Email lin News k to cus tom Newslett er Signu er service p Regular Blog or In formatio nal Upda TECH tes N I C AL Technica l Bulletin s Instructi ona White Pa l Videos pers Technica l An Webinars swer Line Calculato rs or Oth er Links to Other Te Interactive Reso chnical urces Resourc SALE es S Catalog Pag Downloa es dab Interacti le Catalog ve Custome Parts Locating/C r Support atalog C Online P urchasin hat g Secure C redit Ca rd Paym ents

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www.motorstate.com MR. GASKET

www.mrgasket.com PBM Performance Products

www.pbm-erson.com

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www.powerboresleeves.com

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PRO-FILER PERFORMANCE PROD.

www.profilerperformance.com

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RMAT Contact ION Info Address rmation by Dep AL /Hours/P art h one Num ment Interacti ber ve Map/D irections Compan y News Product Des RSS New criptions/Info/P hotos s Feed Racing S eries or Industry Email lin News k to cus tomer se Newslett rvice er Signu p Regular Blog or In formatio nal Upda TECH tes N I CAL Technica l Bulletin s Instructi ona White Pa l Videos pe Technica rs l An Webinars swer Line Calculato rs or Oth er Links to Other Te Interactive Reso chnical urces Resourc SALE es S Catalog Pag Downloa es dab Interacti le Catalog ve Custome Parts Locating/C r Support atalog Chat Online P urc Secure C hasing redit Ca rd Paym ents

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PRODUCTION ENGINE REMANUFACTURERS ASSN (PERA)

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www.qualcast.com QUARTER MASTER

www.quartermasterusa.com RACING HEAD SERVICE

www.racingheadservice.com

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www.sealedpowerpistons.com

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SEALED POWER/FEDERAL-MOGUL

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www.SCEgaskets.com

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SCE GASKETS

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www.sunnen.com TCI AUTO

www.tciauto.com TRACTO-PARTS CENTER INC.

www.tracpro.com TREND PERFORMANCE

www.trendperform.com

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www.worldproducts.net ZEX

www.zex.com

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WINONA VAN NORMAN

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*The above listings are a representative sample of industry websites and their respective capabilities as provided by the manufacturers and suppliers we surveyed.

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Feature

44-47 Marine 8/15/13 8:18 AM Page 44

High-Performance Boating Market BY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CHRIS SUNKIN CSUNKIN@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM PHOTOS COURTESY OF SERIOUSOFFSHORE.COM

Opportunities and challenges for shops willing to dive into the water

H

igh-performance powerboatshops. ing is a world full of opporToday, a common base power tunity for the journeyman package like the Mercury 525 nudges machinist/builder. Oftentimes $35,000 while its new 1350 is in the though, unfamiliarity keeps builders neighborhood of $150,000. That’s from pursuing that work. Looking each! The factory refresh, which more closely, you might find that amounts to pistons, valve train and these barriers aren’t as significant as gaskets, starts at about $10,000 for you might have thought. the 525 and skyIn the ’70s, a “highThere are few wheeled motorperformance boat” was sports that can compare to the typically a jet boat under rigors and pounding that a 22 feet in length powered powerboat engine must handle. by a single, lower-perforJumping from wave to wave is mance big-block. By the most similar to a Trophy Truck. time the ’80s rolled around, interest in the larger, twin-engine “cigarette” style offshore boats really took off. Back then, 70 mph was considered exceptionally fast. Twenty-five years later, 125 mph is commonplace. Going this fast on water requires HUGE amounts of power. That requirement comes with the need for intense and expensive maintenance and rebuild/refresh schedules. And when you’re freshening up a pair of 950 hp blower motors at 150 hour/use intervals, it can redefine the concept of “big ticket” for many 44 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

rockets from there. A non-factory refresh on a pair of 502s can easily run in the neighborhood of $10,000$12,000.

What are the Challenges? First off, it’s going to be finding the business. Fortunately there are a lot more of these boats more places than


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you might think. South A common base power package like the Florida and the New Mercury 525 nudges $35,000 while its new 1350 is in the neighborhood of York/New Jersey areas are $150,000. That’s each! The factory rehotspots, but they’re also fresh, which amounts to pistons, valve knee-deep in competition. train and gaskets, starts at about The Great Lakes region is $10,000 for the 525 and skyrockets home to many of these boats from there. and in my estimation, under-served by quality engine builders. Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of great ones in that neighborhood. But, there’s room for more there and in other prime areas. Beyond these obvious locations, I think you’d be surprised at how many of these boats would be in places you might not consider. You’ll find no shortage of boats ranging from 35-year-old Scarabs to milliondollar-plus boats in the 50’ range in places like Lake Norman, north of Charlotte, Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. You’ll find literally dozens of 150plus MPH boats at Lake Texoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border. The Southwest has its share of performance boaters on Lake Mead, Havasu and on the numerous rivers. Boating enthusiasts are everywhere. And if they can’t live near water, they’re not shy about travelling to it. Let’s tackle the next challengeyou may not know anything about boats. If you’re a performance builder, there was a day that you didn’t know about blowers and nitrous. And you learned. Marine engines are not all that much different, but you do need to understand and address those differences. One area is cooling, where you’ll typically be dealing with fresh-water, raw water or straight water cooling. Fresh water uses a water-to-water heat exchanger and a circulating pump, just like any other endurance engine. Raw water uses lake water pumped directly into the cooling system where a thermostat and circulating pump regulate flow and temperature. Straight water pumps into the engine and out through the exhausts with little or no regulation. Why does this matter? Clearances. A block that never sees temps over 140 degrees F is going to expand differently than one running at 220 degrees. Too-tight clearances on Circle 45 for more information EngineBuilderMag.com 45


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valve guides will lead to sticking and subsequently bent valves. Water pressure is another consideration. An offshore boat with a positive displacement impeller pump can peak cooling pressure to 60-plus psi when re-entering the water after a high-speed wave jump. Your intake gasket might have sealed on the dyno, but right now that poor manifold fit and blown-out gasket is dumping salt water into your customer’s 6,400 rpm engine. Another often under-considered area is oil cooling. You’re not going HRE engines out of Cape Coral, FL, not only builds fast automotive-style engines but they have also jumped into the marine market with a wicked 638 cid build that puts out a whopping 1,200 hp. The 18-ft. Jet Boat has already hit 138 mph with a mild tune. It’ll be much faster in final form.

Circle 46 for more information 46 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

A great place to begin investigating the performance boating market is on one of the handful of online forums dedicated to them (i.e, SeriousOffshore.com). There are volumes of technical information available to you, plus an audience of potential customers.

to build in an extra 200 horsepower and be able to use the same oil cooler. Many boats aren’t rigged with engine oil temperature gauges, so by the time your coolant temp pegs, the damage is done. Rigging has killed more engines than machining, assembly and component failures combined. I’ve seen sections of -12 3,500 psi hose affixed to a shiny red anodized AN adapter on a pump or cooler. The rigger failed to notice that the passage through that section was a third the size of the rest of his plumbing. This leads into one of the


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Feature who’s working on these types of boats. More than likely they have a machine shop or builder they work with. But maybe that builder isn’t delivering. Go be their #2 guy. Being the #2 guy to a bunch of people is a surefire way to become the #1 guy to a few of them. An easy way to locate some of these shops is to find out who is the Mercury Racing authorized shop in your area. These facilities know performance boats and work on more than just Mercury products. But, every marina, everywhere, needs a machine shop. If you do your homework and ease yourself into this market segment, you’ll probably find yourself doing more and more of this sort of work rather quickly. ■

High performance powerboats are not limited by roads or space and often must employ the power of two maxxed-out race engines just to get the boat moving at a decent clip. These engines need to be refreshed just like race engines do.

most critical areas of consideration, which is component selection. There are few close examples in wheeled motorsports that compares to what these engines go through. The offroad “Trophy Trucks” might be close. These engines are being run at maximum output, only to pop out of the water and totally unload the drivetrain. A second or two later the prop is back in the water and, if your timing is on, it’s back on the power. Even when you get it right, the loads being experienced are phenomenal. The right part for the job is a must. In the end, not one of these is all that different from what you’ve encountered before. But they are things you want to know about beforehand. A great place to begin investigating this niche is on one of the handful of online performance boating forums. There are volumes of technical information available to you, plus an audience of potential customers.

Bad Economy Equals Good Opportunity Performance boating’s ownership cycles differ little from the automobile industry. And just like the car business, people are buying fewer new performance boats these days. But few are exiting the sport. People are

taking the money previously set aside for the down payment on their next boat and putting it into the boat they have. A boater who buys a new $300,000 boat every 4-5 years may hold off a couple more years in this economy. But he’s not going to suffer the embarrassment of showing up dockside with a haggard and threadbare boat. That down payment is finding its way into new upholstery, paint redo’s and most of all, powertrain refresh work. While the new boat industry contracts, an opportunity has opened up in keeping these older boats in shape.

Chris Sunkin is a 40-year performance boating enthusiast and the founder of seriousoffshore.com, a web forum serving this market. Chris is an experienced machinist and builder and has built and rigged numerous high-performance boat powertrains.

How Do You Get Started? Right now, there’s a marine facility close to you Circle 47 for more information EngineBuilderMag.com 47


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Sassy Engines Builds Attitude

BY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR BILL HOLDER BHOLDER@ENGINEBUILDERMAG.COM PHOTOS BY MIKE BRADFORD

Knox family has success from drag racing to tractor pulling with Hemi engine power for 45 years

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ocated in the quiet countryproperly wrench a nitro car and run side of Weare, NH, is an our family farm equipment business engine shop that for over 30 was quite overwhelming,” John Knox years has been building some of the explains. “So we quit drag racing, most powerful Hemi engines in the which broke Brian’s 14-year-old competitive world of truck and heart.” That family business sold and tractor pulling. Sassy Racing Enserviced Massey Furgeson tractors. gines is run by John Knox, his son Enter truck and tractor pulling, Brian and crew, dispensing gobs of drag racing’s country cousin. “With Mopar horsepower and torque from pulling, it’s pretty much a laid back various supercharged alcohol burnactivity, often with a friends-beforeing configurations. Rest assured customer attitude,” John recalls. “I that “Sassy”power is highly rehad gone to a couple of pulls with my spected by both customers and good friend Eldon Townes, liked what competitors alike. I saw and soon after that, Brian, Eldon Hemi power started for the Knox and I were partners in a single engine family 45 years ago with a ’66 modified pulling tractor powered by Belvedere II that was drag raced in the the reconfigured Hemi that was reSuper Stock class. In 1972 that car was moved from the Funny Car.” replaced by a flip top B/FC ‘Cuda, In the early ’90s Rodalyn would powered by an alcohol injected Hemi once again be behind the wheel, only whose diet was changed this time to nitro, pushing into the The sideback of the blower is evident A/FC ranks in 1973. The from this side view. The Knox family following year, a BB/FC opened the doors of Sassy Racing En’Cuda hit the strip utilizgines in 1981, with more than 20 years ing one of Milidon’s Hemi engine building experience. newly introduced cast aluminum blocks, struck with Serial No. 008, which was the genesis for the Knox’s supercharged pulling engine exploits. The final drag vehicle was a nitro guzzling Olds Starfire running in the top of the food chain class, AA/FC in 1978 with a best pass of 6.40 seconds at 228 mph. All of the above mentioned hot rods were named “Country Girl” and driven by John’s wife Rodalyn, who was one of the first ladies to earn her competition license as she drove in all four divisions of Funny Car, Blown and Injected Alcohol and Nitromethane. ”The time needed to 48 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

focusing her driving chores on the “Unlimited” class of the National Tractor Pulling Association (NPTA). Their “Rookie Driver of the Year” award was hers in 1990, then she drove the “Sassy Massey” to three World Championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998. At one time, Rodalyn had the power of six supercharged Hemis under her control. Having their own engines in competition provided a great R&D platform, also winning events and championships was an excellent way to highlight John and Brian’s engine building prowess to future customers. “We let our customers know what we were testing on our house tractor and let them try it, too,” Brian Knox says. Calling on over 20 years of experience building and racing their own Hemis, the Knox family opened the


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doors of Sassy Racing Engines in 1981 with John and Brian doing the wrenching and Rodalyn managing the office. “The 426 Hemi engines were the best match with the supercharging we did,” John explains. “They fit together perfectly, and could easily accept modifications that other brands couldn’t.” Initially the cast aluminum blocks were utilized from Milodon, Keith Black and Joe Pisano’s infamous JP-1. And in the supercharged pulling classes, the largest displacement allowed is 575 cid. “With our blown alcohol enValve train adjustment being gines, the standard is done by Kevin Taylor, who 526 cid for reliability makes up part of the 5-7 man reasons,” says John. “In crew at Sassy Racing Engines. effect, this is a stroker, since it increases the stock 426 stroke length by .750˝. and easier to repair,” says John. Through the years, as horsepower and “That’s why all the top fuel teams use torque numbers increased, the cast them today.” blocks have taken a backseat to the Another component utilized in a ultra-strong forged pieces out of Brad Sassy engine is the billet aluminum Andersen’s shop. “They are stronger cylinder heads crafted by Ken Veney’s

50 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

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team in Wadsworth, OH. One aspect of Sassy Racing Engines is the lack of major fabrication equipment. “We purchase most of our engine parts from other manufacturers who build them to our specs and we are able to


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make minor adjustments in house if plete run, and you have to remember necessary,” Brian says. John explained that the pull time is significantly that SRE sometimes sell the various longer than a quarter-mile drag race,” pieces unassembled to a few cusBrian says. “During a pull, a lot of tomers that choose to build their own heat is built up because of the great power plant. John adds, “We also sell weight stressing the engine. The load used Sassy engines and will repair any that were previously sold out of our shop.” The father and son duo will tell you that even though their pulling Hemi engines are somewhat the same component-wise as ones used in drag racing, there are significant differences in the power and torque curves. “With a heavier load at the starting line for a pulling vehicle, torque is very important,” Brian explains. “We try to get the vehicle to hook up around 50-75 feet down the track, at which time the engine should be putting out full torque. He also mentions that pulling is This Brad Anderson block, much harder on the which sustained a thrown rod engine than drag has been repaired by SRE. They racing. will work on any used engine that they have sold in the past. “It’s loaded more throughout the com-

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is hard on the camshaft and other components, and there are many things that affect the load factor, including track conditions and even the tires.” When asked about the horsepower

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capabilities of their engines, an unextractors. Of course, there are some adpected reply came forth. “Don’t know, justments when the engines are used don’t care,” Brian says. “I never meas- in those applications.” ure the power on a dyno alone. What A major performance upgrade took I’m interested in is making sure place in the mid-’80s when Brian dethere’s enough power to do the job. signed the first dual fuel pump system Then, too, depending on the particular on a Blown Alcohol engine. The learnpulling vehicle, the power and torque ing curve continued in 1987 when ranges are completely different.” most engines were pressurized with Brian continues, “Even though the the larger 14-71 High-Helix-style sumulti-engine modifieds get most of perchargers. “There were different the publicity, the largest number of rules from different pulling organizaour engines is used to power the tions that allowed various overdrive blown, singlepercentage levels,” John engine, twoThe display area at SRE shows wheel-drive off an early Hemi drag race entrucks and gine and some other “hardmini-modified ware.” The main men behind SRE are Brian (L) and John

Circle 52 for more information 52 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

says. Another change was introduced in 1988 when the Knoxes switched to a direct-drive gearbox, which eliminated the transmission that was a weak link behind more power and torque. In 1993, the Knoxes switched to the SSI High-Helix blower, which was more reliable and greatly increased the airflow. In recent years, a new intake manifold design has positioned the supercharger mounting point further towards the back of the engine, eliminating many of the tuning headaches of previous models.


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NTPA’s various Modified classes present a challenge that is unique to this venue, linking up to six engines in unison and getting them to play well together. Through the years the Knox family’s Sassy Massey evolved from one to six Hemis, depending on which class they were competing in. “With multiple engines, we tried to keep the setup as equal as possible by adjusting boost, compression ratio and idle speeds,” Brian says. “During the early years, there were breakage problems in the coupling hardware, but it’s much better today with stronger parts. We are not involved with the hardware, but it is certainly integrated into our engine designs.” John adds, “The advances in computer technology through the years have really helped us closely monitor and adjust for changing conditions.” The Knox family has seen a lot of changes from the birth of the Funny Car and its evolution in the ‘70s, to modified tractor pulling, where they were in the thick of things again, starting out with a single engine and in

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1988 when the Sassy Massey shook the ground with its six-supercharged Hemis.

Marketing? The Knox’s main marketing pro-

Feature

gram is the tried-and-true word-ofmouth version. Their recipe is as follows: “The best way to stay inside the minds of potential customers is to let Engine build-up is performed in them this section of the shop. SRE has a separate area dedicated to repair and refreshing engines for their customers.

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see our engines win, win and win some more. That, combined with attending as many events as possible to assist customers towards the goal of victory, is our form marketing.”

Ken Veney Industries Even though Ken Veney’s shop is almost 800 miles from Weare, NH, the former NHRA World Champion driver and crew chief is an integral player in the success of Sassy Racing

A Veney billet Hemi cylinder head.

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Engines. Sassy’s utilizes Veney’s billet aluminum cylinder heads on all of their engines. A common affection for the Chrysler Hemi sparked a longtime working friendship between the two camps. Veney has raced seven classes of supercharged cars, including Chrysler, Chevy and Ford all running on alcohol (dragsters and Funny Cars), and all the cars setting NHRA national records and winning national events. Taking experiences from the different engines and combinations, he developed the latest head and piston design to give a broad rpm range that works well for pulling and for Sassy Engines’ particular combinations. In 2012, Veney designed, built and drove his four-engined Funny Farmall to the NTPA season championship in the Unlimited class. For more information on all things Sassy, visit www.sassyengines.com or friend them on Facebook. ■

A pair of stacked Hemi engines provide the power for this tractor. Circle 54 for more information 54 August 2013 | EngineBuilder


55 What's On The Dyno 8/15/13 8:14 AM Page 55

WHAT’S ON THE DYNO?

presented by:

HRE’s ‘Jet Express’ Marine Motor Pumps Out 1,200 HP Hameetman Racing Engines (HRE), Cape Coral, FL, recently built this 1,200 horsepower 638 cid engine for a customer to be fitted in an 18-foot Mirage Jet Boat. So far, it has only run 138 mph in a 1/4-mile on one small shot of nitrous (200 hp), says owner Daryl Hameetman. He says it’s going be interesting when they turn the power up for real. “On the dyno, we spent a lot of time moving cam timing because the motor is under cammed for what it is. We took a lot of lift out of it in an attempt to keep the valve train very mild,” Hameetman explains. “The motor makes 1,200 hp with only .830˝ of actual valve lift.” HRE made multiple steady state runs while tuning the 638 in an attempt to simulate the Jet Boat environment during wide open power runs. Hameetman notes that the engine makes 1,000 hp at 5,650 rpm and 1,200 hp by 7,300 rpm with more than 900+ lbs.ft of torque at its disposal from 4,800 to 6,400 rpm. For more about HRE, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HREPower. ■

So far HRE’s 638 cid build for the Jet Boat has made it up to 138 mph – on the water!

HRE’s 638 Jet Boat Engine Specs: - 4.630 bore X 4.750 stroke - Dart Big M Block with Billet caps - 14.5:1 compression with Diamond pistons and rings - GRP 6.680 aluminum rods - Callies magnum 4.750 Crank - Coated Clevite main and rod bearings - Titan oil pump and Billet Fabrication oil pan - Comp Cams solid roller (.850/.820 lift) standard core on a 117 LSA - Crower .903 hippo lifters - CFE 15 degree heads with Ferrea 2.400/1.900 titanium valves, Comp triple springs and Jesel 1.75 rockers - CFE sheetmetal manifold with dual 1120 Davinci Dominators and dual foggers Circle 55 for more information

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Old Iron

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Gems From ’49 Bell Catalog Long before the Internet, there was a man with a vision – and a catalog

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hen Roy Richter wrote, or air express shipping was extra. “Here it is”on the inside Paul Schiefer’s dry lakes racing cover of his 1949 Bell Auto car was among many cars pictured Parts Catalog, he probably didn’t re- in the catalog. Its Merc engine had alize what he started. He said it Edelbrock heads and a Harmans was, “the most comprehensive and and Collins cam. Edelbrock’s Super up-to-date catalog of racing equipManifold for ’49 Fords and Merment.” curys sold for $43.75, but you had Bell Auto Parts started to add Cover art on the 1949 Bell Auto in 1923 when George $6.50 for a Parts catalog depicted a racing Wight opened a salvage roadster and driver wearing a yard in Bell, CA, and put Bell helmet. up a building to sell speed equipment, mostly for Model-T Fords and racing cars. He handled Miller, Winfield and Edelbrock parts. Crane Gartz, of Cragar, had the rights to a Model-A overhead-valve cylinder head. Gartz was in financial trouble, so Wight bought the design and improved it. Wight passed away in 1943 and Roy Richter, a successful racing driver and creator of the Richter Streamliner, bought the company from Wight’s widow in 1945. A year later, he launched his first mail-order catalog with the nation’s leading racing equipment. Richter called his catalog “Racing’s dependable source of supply.” Speed equipment from Offenhauser, Weiand, Navarro, Meyers, Tatterfield, Knudsen, Harmon and Collins, J.E. Pistons, Thomas, Halibrand and Burns was listed. Items ranged from Adjustable Cam Gears to Winfield heads. Customers were asked to pay with postal or express money orders and were expected to pay cash with orders or cash on delivery. Shipping charges were the customer’s responsibility. Air freight

56 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR John Gunnell jgunnell@enginebuildermag.com

Ford installation kit or $7.50 for a Mercury installation kit. Charts and graphs showing compression ratios and power curves surrounded illustrations of a variety of Edelbrock heads for Fords. Then came the Offenhauser heads section, led off by pictures of Fran Hernandez’s ’32 Ford coupe that clocked 122.04 mph at


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El Mirage in Russetta Timing Associ- promote speed parts like Harman ation competition. Hernandez’s and Collins camshafts and an Edelheads, manifold and ignition lead brock manifold and heads. The car plate came from Offenhauser and was the Burke/Francisco streamliner were teamed with a Winfield cam that Wally Parks drove to 153 mph in and Kurten ignition system. The catalog listed Weiand manifolds and heads made for Fords, Mercurys and Studebakers and Navarro, Meyers and Cyclone heads for FoMoCo V8s, but there were other choices on other pages, such as Knudsen’s go-fast goodies for the Ford six and Tattersfield dual intake manifolds for inline Chevrolets, Chryslers and De Sotos. The Harman and Collins cams for Ford and Mercury V8s, Ford sixes, Chevy stovebolts and Lincoln, Mopar and Studebaker engines were listed. The fastest car that had ever run at a The 1949 Bell catalog sold SCTA meet up to that exhaust headers and hop-up time was another vehi- parts for the Ford 6. cle pictured in the catalog. It was used to

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1948. Winfield offerings in the Bell catalog included speed equipment for the Ford V8-60 engine that was used in many oval track racing cars. These

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could be ordered with semi-, threequarter-, full- and super-race cams. Ed Winfield’s legendary company also sold special Ford/Mercury V8 valve springs, adjustable tappets for the Ford six, V8-60 valve spacers and adjustable cam gears. Bell also sold hot-sparking ignition systems from Kurten and Spaulding, rajah ignition terminals and Kong dual-coil ignitions (the latter cost $67.50). Mallory, DSM Electric and Barker offered other ignitions with prices up to a steep $133 for a dual mag drive type. Ignition wire looms made of chromeplated steel tubing were available for Ford and Merc flatheads for $7.50. Piston makers in the catalog included J.E. and Grant, A 3/8 Mercury Stroker crank kit sold for $198 complete. It could also be purchased piece by piece. A Halibrand quickchange rear end for roadsters, big cars and midget racers sold for $514 with six changes. No wonder they’re rare today. Schiefer offered an alu-

minum flywheel for big Ford and Mercury flatheads, Gould 6-volt batteries, Champion spark plugs and Air Maze and Hellings air cleaners

The Bell catalog listed many Edelbrock parts for the flathead Ford V8. And many of the parts listed in the catalog are worth quite a bit on the collector market.

were other items in Bell’s inventory, as were Douglas dual-tone mufflers. The catalog included legendary versions of products like those that Speedway, JEGs and Summit Racing sell today: pressure pumps, headers, carburetors, water pumps, racing engine hardware and, naturally, Bell helmets. It would be safe to say that most items in the catalog sold for under $100. Some were only a few bucks in 1949. Shipping probably ran about 10 percent of the retail prices, a ratio that used to be the norm in the mailorder business. Today, some of the $10 items are worth hundreds of dollars now and a Halibrand quick-change rear end might even bring thousands of dollars. Many of the Ford V8 heads and intakes are so collectable that they may never go on a car again. Fortunately, many cases and modern reproductions are available. Roy Richter became a member of the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1973 and retired in 1978. He died in 1987. The Bell name survives today and is probably best known to the public for manufacturing sports and racing helmets. ■ Circle 58 for more information 58 August 2013 | EngineBuilder


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MAHLE Clevite Includes QR Codes on Packaging

Adding to the growing number of electronic resources MAHLE Clevite Inc. offers, QR codes are now included on all MAHLE Original, Clevite and Victor Reinz product packaging. Translating the code with a free QR code reader automatically directs the end-user to a search page where they can input a part number to retrieve specifications and up-to-date technical information on the particular part.

Mahle Clevite Inc. Phone: 734-975-4777

www.mahle-aftermarket.com Circle 109 Circle 108

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Linear Slideways Hardened steel precision ground linear roller bearing slideways allow easy stroking of the wheel slide reducing operator fatigue and improving surface finish on the valve seat face. No friction and wear associated with dovetail slideways.

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1-800-452-0534Circle 111 www.rottlermfg.com

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Engine Pro High Performance Connecting Rods

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, heavyduty 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.

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 www.goenginepro.com.

S.B. International

Engine Pro

Phone:1-800-THE-SEAT

Phone: 800-ENGINE-1

www.sbintl.com

www.goenginepro.com

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Web-Based Valvetrain Parts Catalog


Classified/Cores

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Call now to order or to receive a free 2013 catalog 1-800-434-5141 www.autobodysupplies.com

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enginebuildermag.com 62 August 2013 | EngineBuilder

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ST. LOUIS, MO 63107

Advertiser Index COMPANY NAME

PAGE #

Edelbrock Corp

50

50

Motor State Distributing

6

6

AAPEX

25

CIRCLE # 25

Engine & Performance Warehouse

11

11

Motovicity Distribution

29

29

American Cylinder Head, Inc.

Cover 3

65

Engine Parts Group

13

13

National Cylinder Head

18

18

Atech Motorsports

10

10

Engine Parts Warehouse

31

31

Packard Industries

57

57

Bill Mitchell Products

54

54

EngineQuest

17

17

PAI Industries Inc

52

52

Brad Penn Lubricants

4

12

ESCO Industries

58

58

Pro-Filer Performance Products

18

16 23

Brock Supply

27

27

Go Power Dynamometer Systems

55

55

Quality Power Products

23

Centroid Corp.

19

19

Goodson Mfg Co

9

9

R & R Racing Products

24

24

Cometic Gaskets

46

46

GRP Connecting Rods

51

51

Rottler Manufacturing

Cover 4

68 35

Comp Performance Group

8

8

IMCO Marine

47

47

SB International

35

Dakota Parts Warehouse

10

14

Injector Experts

24

22

Scat Enterprises

Cover 2

2

Dart Machinery Ltd

20

20

Interstate-Mcbee

45

45

SEMA

7

7

Darton International

4

4

King Electronics

54

48

Dipaco Inc.

26

26

DNJ Engine Components

1

1

Driven Racing Oil, LLC

15

15

Liberty Engine Parts

5

5

Lunati

53

53

Mahle Clevite

3

3

EngineBuilderMag.com 63


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Building Pontiac Excitement In 1964 Pontiac introduced the GTO and started the muscle car wars. The GTO Tiger, or Goat captured the imagination of an entire generation. With visionaries like Jim Wangers, an advertising genus, and John DeLorean an engineer and later general manager of the division, Pontiac became GM’s Performance Division. With great cars such as the GTO, Trans-Am, Grand Prix and Bonneville, Pontiac created a performance mystique that carries on despite the death of the division in GM’s bankruptcy. http://tinyurl.com/mvkktsz

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J.D. Power says consumers are demanding better fuel economy from their vehicles due to higher gas prices at the pump, and also are lured by better-performing powertrains that still offer oomph through direct injection and turbocharging. http://tinyurl.com/mtddjcs

Reader Comments Smaller Engines Make Inroads in U.S., According to J.D. Power “Finally, auto makers are realizing that 3 & 4 cylinder engine can actually power an automobile. Since the beginning of automotive time, Americans have been told that you need lots of cylinders to make horsepower. That is not true. This change also validates the 10 or so

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Engine Builder, August 2013