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>Cleaning Heads & Blocks

>Racing Oils

>SEMA Engine Build


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Contents 07.13

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Dressing Up Vintage

Racing Oils

Street oils are regulated to meet industry standards for zinc and corrosion protection among other requirements, but they are not always the best choice for racing engines. Chemicals and lubricants used in this environment also must be up to the task. Technical Editor Larry Carley explains the magical blends behind these performance products ..........17

These days, with the value of original and old school cars soaring, an updated appearance for that vintage engine may not be the route you want to take. If you’re building an engine for a vehicle that fits in either of these two categories, your engine dress-up options may be limited. Contributing Editor John “Gunner” Gunnell explores the options....................................28

17 Cleaning: Heads & Blocks

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Technical Editor Larry Carley looks at what engine builders are doing to get their parts clean. Here’s a hint: there’s no single way to get them grime-free. It depends on the application and material as well as your customers’ expectations ..........................................38


28 Columns

Profitable Performance ................11 By Contributing Editor Dave Sutton Will You Have a POP or a SODA?

Diesel Dialogue ............................14 By Contributing Editor Bob McDonald Diesel Exhaust Fluid Not So Bad

SEMA Auction Engine Build Our 2012 Performance Engine Builder of the Year winner, Ed Pink Racing Engines, scored high marks in its commitment to the industry – most notably through its support of the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has, over the years, given nearly $2 million in aid to students seeking careers in the automotive industry. Contributing Editor Bill Holland follows the steps of this custom charity engine build ......................44


DEPARTMENTS Events ..................................................................4 Industry News......................................................6 Shop Solutions ....................................................12 NASCAR Performance ..........................................37 Supply Line ..........................................................50 2013 Supplier Spotlight ........................................51 Cores/Classifieds/Ad Index ..................................54 Final Wrap............................................................56 ENGINE BUILDER founded Oct. 1964 Copyright 2013 Babcox Media Inc.

ENGINE BUILDER (ISSN 1535-041X) (July 2013, Volume 49, Number 07): 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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Industry Events August 12-18 Monterey Car Week Monterey, CA

August 17 - August 19 EFI University Hosted by Pro Car Associates Akron, OH or 866-316-7744

September 18 AERA Tech & Skills Regional Conference Dallas, TX or 888-326-2372

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

September 25-26 Rottler 6th Annual Open House Kent, WA

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

October 2 MERA Remanufacturing and Sustainability Conference Troy, MI or 248-750-1280

November 5-7 AAPEX Show Las Vegas, NV or 708-226-1300

November 5-8 SEMA Show Las Vegas, NV or 702-450-7662

For more industry events, visit our website at or subscribe to

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Industry News

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Speakers and Sponsors Named for 24th AETC The 2013 edition of the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) will be held at the Indiana Convention Center on the three days prior to the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 9-11. The ever-expanding group of speakers will present seminars on a wide variety of topics, speak with attendees one-on-one and share personal insight to provide a wealth of information in three short days. Sponsors for the 24th annual conference include presenting sponsor Motor State Distributing, partner-inpresenting Performance Racing Industry, platinum-level sponsors COMP Cams, Circle Track, Engine Masters and Total Seal Piston Rings, along with a wide variety of goldand silver-level supporters from around the performance aftermarket. Each is providing thousands of dollars worth of prizes and giveaways. The list of speakers reads like a

6 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

who’s-who of engine expertise, and includes Harold Bettes, Power Technology Consultants; Lee Carducci, Arrow Racing Engines; Cecil Stevens, Performance Illusions Engines; Bill McKnight, MAHLE Clevite; Laura Shehan and Jon Sams, HOLLEY Performance Products; Keith Jones, Total Seal Piston Rings; Dan Jesel, Jesel Valvetrain Innovation; Vince Roman, Burns Stainless LLC; Ben Strader, EFI University; Chris Paulsen, C&R Racing Inc.; Greg West, Fel-Pro; Stephen Golya, Performance Motorsport Inc.; Dane Kalinowski, JE Pistons; Brian Kurn, Four Stroke Design; Ozzie Hutchins; Roush Yates Engines; Bruce B. Baldwin, Oliver Racing Parts. For information on their topics, visit To register, visit

SBI Releases New 2013 Anniversary Catalog In honor of its 30th anniversary, S. B. International, Inc. (SBI), of Nashville,

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TN, has released a 1,072-page 2013 valve train parts catalog. The catalog has an emphasis on the more than 200 additions to its comprehensive line of cylinder head parts since its previous catalog in 2010, as well as a 32-page supplemental catalog insert of K-Line Bronze Bullet-brand valve guide liners and miscellaneous tooling now stocked by SBI, and new applications for late-model domestic and import passenger car, performance, light truck, marine, agricultural, heavy-duty, and forklift/industrial applications. The 30th Anniversary-edtion 2013 SBI catalog is available in print, on CD-ROM, or can be accessed directly online at The catalog can also be downloaded in its entirety by visiting SBI’s website at and clicking on the “Downloads” button. For a copy of the catalog, or for questions regarding the catalog or SBI parts, call 1-800-THE-SEAT.

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Industry News

MAHLE Names Douglas New GM For MAHLE Clevite Inc. MAHLE recently promoted Jon Douglas to General Manager of MAHLE Clevite Inc., effective immediately. Douglas, who transitioned into the role upon the retirement of Dan Moody, will report to Arnd Franz, Director and General Manager for MAHLE Aftermarket. During his 20-year career with the MAHLE Group, Douglas has held a variety of roles, including production/quality engineer, team coordinator, and production manager – automotive. His most recent position involved guiding the MAHLE Motorsports division in North America to the top of the performance engine parts aftermarket. In his new role, Douglas will assume management responsibilities for all North American Aftermarket activities, including MAHLE Clevite, Inc., MAHLE Clevite Canada, ULC and the MAHLE Aftermarket S. de R.L. de C.V., S. de R.L. de C.V. in Mexico.

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For more information about MAHLE Clevite Inc. and its North American Aftermarket activities, visit

Vintage Toolbox Auction Helps Tornado Victims Lista International, Motorhead Extraordinaire and Garage Journal recently held a two-week fundraiser to support Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. Using the Garage Journal forum (, the auction gave forum members a unique opportunity to bid on a vintage Lista SC750 Mobile Cabinet, originally used in the Lista factory. 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross. “Having just been through the recent Boston Marathon tragedies, we understand and share the pain of our friends in Oklahoma,” said Joe Germann, president and CEO at Motorhead Extraordinaire. “We want to help, and at the same time give a Garage Journal member an opportunity to own a beautiful vintage Lista mobile

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cabinet, compliments of Motorhead Extraordinaire and Lista International.” “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the recent weather events in Oklahoma,” added Peter Lariviere, president of Storage & Workspace Solutions at Stanley Black & Decker. “The Lista International business has great friends and customers in the Oklahoma region, and we are pleased to help those affected by this tragic event.” The auction was held in early June. The winning bid was $1,400 and Motorhead Extraordinaire donated an additional $200 to the fund. Lista International assisted with shipping costs to the winning bidder as well. To find out more, about Lista International visit For more information on Motorhead Extraordinaire, visit

SEMA Announces Board of Directors Election Results Doug Evans of Source Interlink Media

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Industry News

has been elected the chairman-elect of SEMA and joins two newly elected board members to help lead the association for the 2013-’15 term. Evans fills the position held for the past two years by Nate Shelton of B&M Automotive Group; Shelton has moved up to SEMA chairman. 2013–’14 SEMA Board of Directors • Chairman of the Board: Nate Shelton, B&M Automotive Group; • Chairman-elect: Doug Evans, Source Interlink Media; and • Immediate-Past Chairman: Scooter Brothers – COMP Performance Group. Board Members • Jeff Bates – principal/partner, Bob Cook Sales (reelected to an additional one-year term); • Jim Bingham – president and CEO, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc.; • Luanne Brown – president and CEO, eTool Developers; • Nick Gramelspacher – national sales manager, Meyer Distributing;

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John Hotchkis – president, Hotchkis Performance LLC; • Kyle Fickler - vice president of sales, Weld Racing (newly elected board volunteer); • JR Moore – director, warehouse operations, Performance Warehouse; • Russell Stephens – president, MSD Performance; • Tim Watts – vice president of sales and marketing, Superlift Suspension (newly elected board volunteer); and • Steve Wolcott – CEO, ProMedia LLC. John Johnson of The Spartan Group will serve as secretary/treasurer, and Russ Deane of Trainum, Snowdon & Deane continues as general counsel. The newly elected SEMA Board of Directors will be recognized during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 26, at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center, Pomona, CA. Also during the banquet, outgoing Board members and 2013 SEMA Hall of Fame Inductees will be honored.

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APRA Cautions Against Big R Hotel Reservation Scam The Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA) has issued a warning for Big R show attendees: If you receive a telephone call from Global Housing Management regarding making your hotel reservation at the Tropicana Hotel for the 2013 Big R Show, this is a scam. This company is not connected with APRA or the Big R Show, the association says. If you have made a reservation with this company, APRA advises you to refuse this charge on your credit card and email Magathan@buyreman to notify the association. The correct and safe way to make a reservation at the Tropicana for this year’s Big R Show is by going to the official web site – ■

Have industry news to share? Email it to Doug Kaufman at

11, 48-49 Profitable Performance 7/17/13 9:22 AM Page 11



We may not agree what to call things, but we all want to make money

cross the nation it seems we don’t always agree on what to call things. For example, when you order a soft drink to some it’s “pop.” To others it’s “soda.” I know what you’re thinking – where is this going, and why am I thirsty all of a sudden? We’re going back to the acronym I introduced a few months back that stands for Professionalism, Organization and Profit. Obviously, I’m a POP kind of guy. I’m hoping you are also and not a SODA person. That’s because it means Some Other Description Applies. Because these are our choices today, we need to get ahead of the curve, make some money and change some perspectives. Previously we talked about bringing our business up to its most professional, organized and profitable level possible. Well, as usual, I have a few more thoughts on the matter and they concern how professionalism comes into play. If you have a contractor come to your home for some remodeling work, he’s probably going to ask for some up-front money for materials. You may worry that if you hand over some money, you’re never going to see this guy again. So what’s a customer to think if he walks into a dirty old shop with his shoes sticking to the floor, having to watch what his clothes might bump up against and seeing parts and trash lying about? If his mind goes off in that same direction, the first thought in his head might have to do with trust. Now your relationship is getting off to a bad start. If you’re going to hand over your hard earned cash, especially before the job is done or even started,

you want to know you can trust the person taking your money, right? A good looking and clean shop conveys anticipation of a well done or “clean” job. What if the customer sends someone else to your shop to pick up his or her job? Does your environment make the customer comfortable enough to send, say, his wife or daughter? Or will he have thoughts of the movie “Taken?” When you have to call and explain additional work and parts that the customer will need to complete his job, will it be an easy sell? Or, will he think some unexpected bills have come into your shop and that his job is going to pay them? Will the customer trust that he’ll get his numbers matching block and heads back? Or, will he be worrying that his parts will be lost among the many old cores stacked around the back door or possibly given to the wrong person? Trust is the number one message you want to convey. “Trust me to fix this.” Or, “Trust me when I tell you what you’ll need.” And, “Trust me that you’ll get your money’s worth.” Maybe even, “Trust me to help your wife if she’s going to be the one picking things up.” Finally, “Trust me to be a professional in every way possible!” Would you want it to be any other way if you were the customer? A clean shop is an organized shop. Organization is just as important for the customers’ trust as it is for you to get things done right and without wasting time. Organized means giving the customer’s parts back to him – all of them. Organized gets the billing done right the first time. Organized helps keep you from making time-

Profitable Performance

Will You Have a POP or a SODA?

wasting mistakes. Organized gets you all your receipts in one place and the parts billed on the job. It also gets your papers filed and delivered to your accountant, so you have no troubles with the state or Feds. I highly recommend some form of job ticket organizer. Again, this is as important for you as for your employees. You are as responsible for their time management as they are. You’re the boss. Obviously, better yet would be a computer. But an organized workspace of some sort will help you all see jobs waiting for parts and jobs waiting for a deposit. Finished work, work on hold and whatever other heading you may need to separate one job from the next. A good organized impression would also be made if you have shelving, probably pallet racking, to hold all the parts and pieces for each job up off the floor. Or maybe above the block that’s on the floor. This also keeps it all together and safe from falling over onto someone. Plastic totes from a big box store can be very useful and clear or translucent ones will allow you to make a simple paper sign with the customer’s name to put on the inside end of the box. Nice and easy to see, even on an upper shelf. Pallet racking is also good for storing your cores. Put them away in the back, not under foot. Your shop might have nice yellow painted stripes for aisles and safety, but the last thing you need is blocks and heads lined up as aisle markers. Store them away or get rid of them before someone gets hurt and you get sued! Believe it or CONTINUED ON PAGE 48 11

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How to See Through Pistons for Clearance With the advent of longer stroke crankshafts, one inch plus lift camshafts, raised camshaft locations, lifter angles, bore spacing, etc., exact camshaft lobe and connecting rod clearance may not be able to be determined from looking up from the crankcase area of the block. To see through the pistons we save spent pistons, mark the pin location and bore, and then machine the heads off or machine openings so we can observe clearances from above. We can also send a mirror down the chamber. In addition, this is a great vantage point for observing connecting rod/wall thickness. Archie Frangoudis Archie's Racing Service Merrimack & Nashua, NH

Small Parts Storage Idea I use tea bag holders to organize small parts for cleaning. Retainers, keepers and other small parts fit into these containers that are available at the local hardware store. They have a screw top so everything is kept together, so no more lost parts! Dave Burn Area Auto Parts & Machine Denver, CO

washer to the end of the bolt first makes it easier to get a good weld between the nut and the broken bolt. A TIG welder works very well for this but a MIG welder can also be used. After the washer and nut is welded on, it can be heated with a torch to help make it easier to remove the bolt. The nut that has been welded on can now be turned and the broken fastener should come with it. Ben Hoitink Hughes Engines, Inc. Washington, IL

How to Improve Your Company Image Want to improve your company image? Before you answer your phone or a customer gets to your counter, do this – smile. According to an APS Journal of Psychological Science study, there is physiological response to smiling that reduces the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy. And being in a positive frame of mind will help you sell more parts and labor! Steve Rich Sterling Bearing, Inc. Kansas City, MO

Aluminum or Tri-Metal, Which Bearings to Use? When you bring up the question of whether to use aluminum (bi-metal) or tri-metal bearings to several ma-

12 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

Manufacturers Shop Solution: Why Replace Oil Pump Screens? An oil pump pickup screen smooths the flow of oil into the pump and usually keeps out debris that can lock up the pump. The pickup screen is the only part in an engine that assists the pump in its function. All other engine parts depend on the oil pump to assist them. If a screen could be taken apart, it would be easy to clean. Unfortunately, it can’t. Therefore, it is impossible to clean it completely. Any debris left inside has the potential of locking up the pump. Close examination of a used screen assembly after attempts to clean it may reveal a dark brown stain, which is usually a varnish type coating. The most common screen mesh has .040˝ square openings between the wires. Oil flow is directly proportional to the area of the hole. If the varnish coating is .0051˝ thick, the square hole is reduced to .0301˝ on each side. This is a 25% reduction on a side, and a 44% reduction in the total opening area and flow. Here is the math: (.040˝)2 (.030˝)2 / (.040˝) = 43.75% The second statement references

Bearing Factors

Bi-Metal Material

Tri-Metal Material


General use in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, especially OE engines designed for aluminum bearings.

Ideal for rebuilding engines where more demanding use is anticipated, such as heavy duty, motorsports or street performance.

Wear Resistance

Relatively harder aluminum alloy wears well, interacts closely with journal surfaces for strength.

Babbit surface engineered to utilize stronger copper layer under it, thus minimizing wear.

Using a Welder to Remove Broken Bolts As we all know, extracting a broken bolt can be very frustrating and time consuming. Here is a tip to help make your life a little easier. First, find the correct size flat washer and nut for the broken bolt. For instance, a broken 3/8˝ bolt will require a 3/8˝ flat washer and nut. Start by welding the flat washer to the end of the broken bolt and then weld the nut to the flat washer. Welding the

chinists, you are likely to get more than one answer. The chart below from MAHLE Clevite supplies facts to help you make the right decision. Engine Pro Technical Dept. (Thanks to MAHLE Clevite, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI)


Babbit alloy easily absorbs particles, has low melting point.


Alloy engineered for toughness to conform while preserving strength.

Babbit and copper-lead alloy adapt to shape errors.


Greater silicon content conditions bearing journal surfaces.

Babbit layer adapts to the journal surfaces, has natural lubricity.

Seizure Resistance

Silicon moderates journal surfaces to maintain oil film for normal operating conditions.

Layered design and copper-lead alloy offer unmatched strength and lubricity for demanding use.


10,000 psi load carrying capacity.

12,000 psi load carrying capacity.

Bearing application chart from MAHLE Clevite

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“usually keeps out debris.” There are two styles of screens that allow debris to enter an oil pump. The first has a valve in the center that opens if the oil is too thick or if the screen is restricted. The second type has eight gaps approximately 3/16˝ x 1/2˝ which allow oil to flow if the mesh will not. Oil screens should always be replaced. There is not a more economical way to reduce oil pump and engine failure from ingested foreign material. Technical Department Melling Engine Parts Jackson, MI

Shop Solutions – The Power of Knowledge

Factoid of the Month The iconic Ford blue logo was signed by Henry Ford. Right? Wrong! The Ford blue logo was designed and signed by Childe Harold Wills, best known as the father of the Wills Sainte Claire automobile. Mr. Wills was also a metallurgist and calligrapher. He designed and signed the Ford blue logo while working for Henry Ford before launching his own automobile. By the way, a foremost collector of Wills Saint Claire automobiles is Tom Lieb, owner of Scat Enterprises. Tom owns four Pebble Beach Concours class winning Wills Saint Claires, and many spare parts. ■

Engine Builder and Engine Pro present Shop Solutions in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine and at The feature is intended to provide machine shop owners and engine technicians the opportunity to share their knowledge to benefit the entire industry and their own shops. Those who submit Shop Solutions that are published are awarded a 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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Diesel Dialogue

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Diesel Exhaust Fluid Not So Bad There is still a lot of misconception surrounding this mysterious additive


often hear comments from people this being said, I want to explain the about a strange and mysterious use of DEF in diesel applications to fluid called DEF (Diesel Exhaust help ease some concerns that may be Fluid) that is used in some late-model holding your customers back from diesel trucks. Many owners of these their next diesel truck purchase. newer diesel-powered vehicles don’t DEF is a mixture of urea, not a know what DEF is or why they have mixture of urine. I realize this is not a separate tank or even how often to science class, but it’s nice to underadd the stuff. And what exactly is it stand what urea really is. Natural made of (Hint: it’s not urine!)? urea is waste excreted by humans and The use of DEF in diesel trucks is other mammals from metabolizing based soley on its ability to help manprotein. In humans, the liver breaks ufacturers meet today’s tougher down protein and ammonia that diesel emissions standards. With the forms the waste urea. The kidneys emission devices of the ’70 and ’80s then transfer the urea from the blood still a bad memory for many, these de- to the urine. The average person can vices robbed power, made vehicles excrete 30 grams of urea a day, mostly more difficult and costly to repair, and from urine and some through perspiultimately led to the increased prices ration. DEF, however, is made from a of vehicles. One thing you have to resynthetic urea. It is produced from a member, however, is that back then compound of ammonia and carbon diesel engines were dioxide exempt from these A sample can be taken from the DEF rules and regulations. tank where the disc in the tester will Diesel engines that measure the concentration of urea. If the were found in autoconcentration of urea is off by as little as mobiles were never 0.7%, replace the urea and determine really in demand, and why the urea concentrations were low. they didn’t make much power either. One positive thing about them was the fact that they generally got great fuel mileage and were in service a very long time. As time has passed and we’ve learned a lot more about emissions devices, it really isn’t a sore subject among consumers anymore. In fact, with the power and reliability along with fuel mileage of today’s automobiles, no one really complains. However, as diesel engines become more regulated there tends to be some flashbacks to the past. With

14 July 2013 | EngineBuilder


manufactured for uses such as animal feed and fertilizer. DEF is used to reduce the levels of nitrogen oxides, know as NOx. Nitrogen oxide is formed in an internal combustion engine from the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen during the combustion process. The NOx causes air pollution and in bigger cities is a major contributor of greenhouse gas. NOx gas has been one of the major concerns for the EPA, which has been tightening emission standards for diesel engines in the last few years. Because a diesel engine has a leaner stoichiometry (air/fuel ratio), it tends to produce more NOx than other fuels. The use of DEF to lower NOx gas is known as SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction). DEF is one way manufacturers have reacted to new emission requirements to lower NOx.

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How the System Works The DEF fluid is a mixture of 32.5% high-purity synthetic urea and 67.5% deionized water. The solution is added to a tank on the vehicle that is located generally near the fuel tank for convenience. The DEF tank has a blue lid where the fuel tank has a green lid. The DEF fluid is transferred from the tank to an injector via a pump. The injector for the DEF fluid is usually placed downstream (after turbo) in the exhaust system. The injector is operated electronically by a controller that will open it to allow a low dose of DEF into the exhaust stream. The controller for the injection of DEF is programmed to inject the right amount of fluid based on inputs from the engine controller. As engine demands change, the amount of DEF will change depending on engine load, rpm, speed, temperature, etc. When the DEF is injected into the exhaust stream, it becomes a catalyst for the NOx. The NOx level is reduced between 70%

16 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

and 90% based on application. Here’s the beauty of SCR: by using urea, more NOx gas can be reduced than other treatments, which has always been a major issue when trying to reduce diesel emissions. This is why the EGR valve system was placed on diesel engines. The EGR was used to revert exhaust gas back into the intake in order to lower the oxygen content of the the incoming charge of air into the engine. When the oxygen level is reduced, the combustion temperature is also lowered. In a diesel, when the combustion temperature is reduced, you begin to form soot instead. Then soot becomes an issue in the intake manifold along with the rest of the exhaust system. When the soot particulate had to be dealt with, manufacturers began incorporating an expensive solution known as a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). This is known as a regeneration process where the soot is collected in a filter in the exhaust system and then later burned off by injecting

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fuel to clean the filter. But naturally, this creates higher fuel consumption. By incorporating the use of SCR, NOx levels can be maintained while producing more power. Then the manufacturers rely less on other emission devices such as the EGR and DPF. So, more power can be made with less pollution. This is one of the reason today’s diesel engines can make almost twice the power on the same platform. Injection timing can be tailored to make power instead of being altered to produce less NOx and deal with cooler combustion temperatures faced with EGR. Reflecting back, EGR systems have caused their share of problems. Look at the Ford 6.0L diesel and the problems the EGR coolers impose on those engines. So the use of DEF has proven to be a positive, low-cost solution to lower emissions while offering more power and reliability. ■

17-24 Race Oils 7/17/13 9:18 AM Page 17



Racing Oils

Ordinary street oils just don’t cut it on the race track any longer


erformance engines built for racing deserve the best possible lubrication. Ordinary street oils don’t cut it on a race track. The latest API-certified SN and ILSAC GF-5 motor oils are fine for everyday driving in late model vehicles, but most off-the-shelf motor oils (even many synthetics) come up short in the antiwear department in a racing application – especially if the engine is running a flat-tappet cam or a radical roller cam with a lot of valve spring pressure. Specially formulated racing oils are available from a variety of companies. The base-oils and additives that are used in these products is a proprietary secret, just like the Colonel Sander’s recipe for fried chicken. Nobody is going to divulge the exact ingredients and their percentages that make their product what it is, though most will tell you something about the basic oils and additives they use and how great they perform (there’s a lot of hype to sift through from the marketing department!). Most brands offer a range of viscosities from which to choose as well as various additive packages for everything from drag racing to circle track, for gasoline or alcohol fueled engines, and even air-cooled motorcycle engines. Many suppliers of racing oils refine their own oil and make a full line of lubrication products for both street and racing. Other companies buy their base-oils from other refiners and have their products blended to their own specifications. Either way, the end product is a high-quality lubri-

cant that is designed for the rigors of professional racing. What makes racing oil different from off-the-shelf conventional and synthetic oils that are marketed for everyday use? Basically, racing oils are formulated for racing and nothing else. They are designed to handle higher temperatures and higher loads. Most racing oils are NOT designed for everyday street use, although there are some special street performance oils that offer increased wear resistance and thermal protection for higher-output engines.

Wear Resistance Motor oils contain zinc and phosphorus as high-pressure anti-wear additives. But in recent years, the amount of ZDDP (zinc dialkyl dithiophos-

Break-in oils typically contain no detergent and have extra ZDDP and other anti-wear additives to help protect the cam and lifters.

phate) that is allowed in street oils has been reduced to prolong the life of the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors (both of these metals are contaminants that can reduce the life of the catalyst and sensors). Motor oils contained 1,500 parts per million (ppm) of ZDDP back in the 1980s. In the 1990s, that was reduced to 1,200 ppm, and in 2005 it was cut again to 600 to 800 ppm. The rationale was that modern engines with roller cams or OHC cam followers don’t require as much ZDDP anti-wear additive as older engines with flat-tappet cams. The reduced levels of ZDDP were also deemed adequate for most passenger car flat-tappet cam engines. But as many racers learned the hard way, today’s street oils with reduced ZDDP are wiping out cams in performance engines with flat-tappet cams, radical roller cams and engines that are using lots of valve spring pressure. The solution? Some racers switched to diesel motor oils because they still contained higher levels of ZDDP. But that also changed a few years ago when the amount of ZDDP in diesel oils was reduced to 1,200 ppm. Most experts feel that 1,500 ppm of ZDDP (or more) is required to protect cam lobes, flat-tappet lifters and the needle bearings in roller lifters. Anything less than that is asking for trouble. Some racing oils also contain molybdenum in various forms as part of their anti-wear package. ZDDP crankcase additives are available that can provide the required anti-wear protection for older engines and performance engines 17

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Feature that are running street oils. These additives are designed to supplement street oils, not racing oils, so follow the directions and precautions on the product. Some oil engineers caution against using additives with racing oils. A motor oil performs best with the additive package that is blended into it. Adding supplements may create an overdose of some ingredients and upset the balance of other ingredients. Too much zinc can interfere with other additives (such as detergents), and increasing zinc levels beyond the recommended 1,500 to 2,500 ppm concentration will not provide higher levels of scuff and wear protection. For this reason, the experts recommend using a racing oil that is formulated from the get-go to provide the required anti-wear protection needed for a performance engine and to NOT add anything else to it.

Thermal Stability Thermal stability, which is the oil’s ability to resist oxidation (burning)

18 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

But the base oil and additive package in a motor oil formulated for everyday driving (including synthetics) is not going to provide the same level of performance as the higher quality base-oils and additives that go into specially formulated racing oil. Consequently, an off-the-shelf street oil is not going to perform at the same level as a racing oil.

Base Oil Chemistry

Racing oils start with higher grade base-oils from Group III all the way up to Group V and are full-synthetics.

when it gets hot, can also be an issue when ordinary motor oils are subjected to the rigors of racing. Synthetics are much better in this respect because they can handle higher temperatures without breaking down.

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Base-oils are categorized according to their performance characteristics. Viscosity Index (VI) is one measure of oil quality. Anything over 100 is good, with higher numbers being best. Group I base-oils are the lowest category. They are the least expensive oils to refine and typically have a VI rating in the 80 to 100 range. Most conventional street oils today use a Group II base oil (usually a VI of 100 or higher) plus a small percentage of Group III (VI over 120) synthetic oil to meet API SN or ILSAC GF-5 requirements. Racing oils start with higher grade

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Feature base-oils (Group III, Group IV synthetics and even some Group V oils) to get a higher level of performance. Group IV oils are full-synthetics and include POA (polyalphaolefin) which is the most versatile synthetic. POA does not contain any sulfur, phosphorus, wax or metals. It can withstand elevated temperatures, and has a VI rating of 135 to as high as 300. That’s why POA is used as the base oil in many racing formulas.

Oil Viscosity and Heat Heat is a real challenge in performance engines because the engine may be making anywhere from one and a half to three times as much horsepower than a comparable stock motor, depending on what’s been done to it. That’s a lot of waste-heat going into the block and other engine parts. Direct oil flow to the crankshaft helps cool the main and rod bearings, and splash lubrication helps lubricate and cool the pistons and wrist pins. Add some pin oilers to direct oil at

20 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

the pistons, and the oil takes on even more cooling responsibility. Oil also helps cool the upper valve train, including the rockers and valve springs. Consequently, the oil picks up a lot of heat. The type of oiling system on the motor can help manage much of this heat by routing the oil into a reservoir tank and through an external oil cooler. But engines that are running an internal wet sump oiling system with no external cooler can heat up the oil very quickly in a racing environment. Racing oils are formulated to handle temperatures that cause ordinary street oils to break down. This requires high-quality base-oils and additional friction-modifiers. Many racing oils are designed to handle temperatures in the 250° to 300° F (or higher) range. The oil in a crankcase of a dailydriver is probably going to stay in the 165° to 185° range with normal driving. It can climb higher during hot weather, with sustained high-speed driving, when towing a trailer or

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when driving aggressively. But it is not going to reach the kind of temperatures a race engine can experience. The least demanding racing application as far as oil temperatures are concerned is drag racing. The engine is started cold with little or no warm up time, then it’s a short burnout and a quick blast down the quarter-mile before going back to the pits. The oil never gets very hot, so a relatively thin, low viscosity racing oil such as 5W-20 and 5W-30 may be used without fear of overheating the oil. Thin oils can also be used in certain asphalt circle track engines, too, provided the engine has an adequate oil-reservoir, good oil-cooler and radiator to help manage the heat. Thin oils are typically used with tighter bearing clearances and reduced oil pressure (which saves horsepower). By comparison, more traditional racing oil viscosities such as 15W-40, 15W-50 and 20W-50 are thicker and better able to maintain their viscosity at elevated temperatures in endurance applications such as circle

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Feature track and road racing. The heavier oils work best with increased bearing tolerances and perform best when preheated before a race. Lower viscosity multi-weight oils are used in late-model passenger cars for a variety of reasons. Thinner oils reduce friction and save fuel, but they also flow better when cold and speed lubrication to critical upper valve train components such as overhead cams in late-model engines. That’s why most new cars today come factory filled with 5W-20, and some even 0W-20 motor oil. Thinner viscosity racing oils can also reduce friction to yield power gains depending on the base-oils and additives used. You’re not going to see huge power gains, but with some oils it is possible to see another 1 to 3 percent more horsepower at the flywheel. On an 800 hp engine, that could be another 8 to 24 more hp on the dyno. Street oils are formulated for longer service intervals (up to 7,500 miles or more), so they require more detergents and dispersants. Racing

22 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

oils don’t have to go those kind of distances so the additive package can be very different. A racing oil still needs good detergency to handle fuel dilution of the oil in the crankcase, but not as much detergent or dispersant as a typical street oil. So racing oils need to be changed fairly frequently. One expert said if you can smell fuel in the oil or see that it is turning dark, it’s time to change it.

Oil Recommendations Choosing a particular brand and viscosity of racing oil depends on a lot of variables: how tight you’re building the engine, how much heat the oil will have to endure in a racing application, the kind of oiling system on the motor, the kind of fuel the engine will be running, how much “extra” horsepower you are trying to gain by using a thinner/slipperier oil, how much anti-wear protection the engine will require (depending on the type of cam, lifters and valve springs), your past experience with a particular oil, if your customer has a brand prefer-

Circle 22 for more information

ence or sponsorship to consider, and the advice of the oil supplier. Nobody knows their products better than the ones who make them, so don’t be afraid to ask an oil supplier what type of racing oil they recommend for the engine you are building. If you’ve had good experience with a particular brand of racing oil and are comfortable with how the oil performs, there’s probably little or no incentive to try something different. After all, if it isn’t broke there’s no need to fix it. Trying a different brand or viscosity of oil is always a gamble. A different oil may run cooler, protect better and/or give you some extra power – or it may not. The only way to find out is to find out what kind of oil some of your competitors are using and try some yourself. Some oil companies publish guides listing the type of oil and viscosity they recommend for certain types of racing. If you’re building a blown nitro engine for a Top Fuel dragster or Funny Car, you’ll need a heavy oil like 70 weight. In that kind

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Feature of application, the oil isn’t going to last very long. Most Top Fuel racers dump the oil after every run. The real penny pinchers may let the old oil sit in a bucket for several days for the nitro to separate, then drain off the oil and reuse it another couple of times before discarding it completely. The point here is that oil is cheap and engines are not. You have to use the right oil and change it as often as needed to keep the engine alive. For enduro road racing or circle track, a 20W-50 or even a straight 40 or 50 weight oil may be the best choice. For an alcohol fueled engine, an oil with a special additive package designed for alcohol would be recommended. If you’re building a 500 to 800 horsepower big block Chevy for a customer who wants to drop the engine in a hot rod or street rod (which will probably only be driven during warm weather), a 20W-50, or straight 40 or 50 weight oil would be recommended to handle the heat.

Many suppliers of racing oils refine their own oil and make a full line of lubrication products for both street and racing.

On the other hand, if you are building a late model Chevy LS motor for a road racer the street/strip, a lighter multi-viscosity 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30 or 15W-40 might be the best choice depending on how much power the engine makes and how hot the oil will get. If a racer doesn’t know what kind of oil temperatures are normal for his kind of racing, he should invest in an oil temperature gauge or oil temperature sensor so oil temperatures can be monitored. Once this vital piece of information is known, it’s easier to pick an oil based on how much heat the oil will have to withstand.

Break-In Oils Equally important to choosing a good racing oil for a performance engine is using the correct type of break-in oil when that engine is first fired up. Conventional 30 weight Circle 24 for more information 24 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

oil is usually recommended for lubricating internal engine parts as the engine is being assembled, with moly assembly lube being applied to the cam lobes, the bottoms of flat-tappet lifters (or the needle bearings in roller lifters), rocker arms and the tips of pushrods. Once the engine is together, the crankcase should be filled with a mineral-based (not synthetic) non-detergent oil. The trouble is, non-detergent oils are hard to find so many oil companies now formulate their own special break-in oils. These products typically contain no detergent and have extra ZDDP and other anti-wear additives to help protect the cam and lifters during break-in. Break-in oil viscosities may range from 0W-10 (for engines that will be running a really thin oil) to 5W-30 to 15W-40. The most critical step in the breakin process is getting the piston rings to seat. If the rings don’t seat, the engine will use oil and never develop good compression. Plateau honing the cylinders before it is assembled goes a long way towards assuring a good ring seal. But even with a good plateau hone, it still takes a little runtime to fully seat the rings. We’re talking 30 to 45 minutes of run-time at varying engine speeds and loads to seat the rings, and maybe up to an hour or two of run-time as needed, but no more. Once the rings have seated, its time to turn it off and dump the break-in oil. Once the break-in oil has accomplished its mission, it’s history. You can recycle it, burn it in a waste oil heater, or even use it in an older diesel engine or farm tractor. But don’t leave it in any longer than necessary. A common mistake is to leave the break-in oil in the engine while you’re tuning it on a dyno. Break-in oil is not racing oil, and if you push it too hard and get it too hot, it’s going to burn and possibly wreck the new engine you just put together. Make sure you change the filter, too, because any residual honing abrasives and wear particles that are floating around inside the engine can cause a lot of problems later if not removed. ■ For Oil Supplier contact information, visit and use our interactive Buyers Guides.

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Presented By:

Sponsored By:



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

Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award

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For complete contest information and the application form, visit 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.

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Vintage Engine Goodies



here are probably a million ways to dress-up a classic show car’s engine. You can add colorful spark plug wires to any vintage motor. You can install Chevy Orange logo valve covers on any 1958-’86 slant edge small-block Chevy. You can get a universal-fit Airbox air cleaner with a blue HPR filter, for muscle cars with cowl induction. These colorful “goodies” will make your engine look flashy and more modern, but they may change the character of your “mill” from old to new. These days, with the value of original and old school cars soaring, an updated appearance for that vintage engine may not be the route you want to take. If you’re building an engine for a vehicle that fits in either of these two categories, your engine dress-up options actually fall into four main categories: 1. Painting and detailing the engine to its original factory appearance; 2. Adding factory optional dress-up equipment from the original era; 3. Locating hard-to find, period-correct aftermarket dress-up items; and 4. Installing aftermarket reproductions of period correct dress-up parts.

are available to 1960s Pontiac engine restorers. “Robin’s Egg Blue” was the factory issue color on cars made early in that decade and Metallic Silver Blue was used after 1966. Today, both of these colors are sold by different suppliers as “Pontiac Blue,” so some rebuilders wind up using the wrong color for the year of their engine. Good research can avoid this problem, but it gets a little trickier to determine which of several Robin’s Egg Blues is the perfect OEM match. In reality, there may be no single “correct” color to paint a vintage engine. Auto historians have found that car factories purchased paint from different vendors and, although manufacturers provided color specifications to these suppliers, slight variations could and did occur. Therefore, engine rebuilders may not be able to swear an

Standard Factory Dressings Classic car restorers have been known to stop just short of fisticuffs when debating what colors car factories painted engines many years ago. “What’s the proper color for my engine?” is often the first question new collectors Chrome kits like the one on this ask and sometimes there ’70 Chevelle SS454 were not is no absolute answer. available as factory installed For instance, paints in equipment until the late 1960s. various shades of blue 28 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

oath that PlastiKote’s No. 208 Pontiac Blue is more accurate than Eastwood’s No. 777 51629 ZP Pontiac Light Blue for 1959-’65 engines (or vice versa). However, as long as you use just one type of paint, the results will meet current guidelines. Such guidelines are often established by clubs that recognize one brand or one model of a car – for instance a Ford club or a Mustang club. For an older engine made when thousands or hundreds of different automakers produced cars, clubs such as the Antique Automobile Club of America ( or Classic Car Club of America may be helpful. According to Shane Hanke, the owner of Shane’s British Classics in Waupaca, WI, there are websites such as that give the color samples and modern product

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codes to help restorers find the correct engine paints for vintage British sports cars. Engine color information is also available from companies that supply such products including Bill Hirsch, Tower Paint and Jochem’s Auto Parts. Engine paints are formulated as Very High Temperature (VHT) coatings and the labels on the can will indicate the maximum temperature they will withstand before burning off. We’ve seen powder coat and porcelain finishes on old engines. Technically, these are not authentic, but they sure look nice. There are new ceramic engine paints as well as special paints for engine parts such as exhaust manifolds, accessory brackets, starters, generators (and alternators), carburetors and so on. ECS Automotive Concepts ( sells a new product called RPM Rust Prevention Magic that can be used to treat bare metal engine parts so they can have an original look without rusting. Another item needed to dress-up an engine to look like it did when it was new is a kit of all the decals the factory put on it. Up until the mid-1950s, engines had only a few decals on parts such as the air cleaner, valve covers and oil filter (if they had an oil filter). Later engines all Circle 30 for more information 30 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

Egge Speed Shop and other vintage engine specialists sell dress up parts like this polished aluminum Offenhauser cylinder head for the flathead Ford V8.

came standard with decalplastered air filters, as well as smog pumps, oil filler caps, electrical parts and many other components requiring certification labels, etc. Automakers were even forced to retroactively add labels to cars like the Fiero due to government recalls. Phoenix Grafix (www.phoenix is a large supplier of decals, but many other catalog distributors offer decals for specific years, makes and models of cars. Hobbyists don’t necessarily think of a restoring an engine to stock appearance as dressing it up, even though they are willing to spend a bunch of money doing it. “Well, I guess it’s dressing up an engine when you have new paint and new decals on the valve cover and air cleaner and everything is shiny and neat and working,” 1957 T-Bird owner Mike Drechsler told Engine Builder. “But until I really thought about this, I always felt dressing up an engine meant adding the optional ‘chrome pack’ that you see on a lot of these T-Bird engines.”

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Factory Dress-up Kits Chrome packs or engine dress-up kits were mainly a late postwar era development. In the 1920s or 1930s, if your car came with a dressed-up engine, your name was probably Howard Hughes or Jay Gatsby. Expensive luxury cars like Duesenbergs came with nickel-plated engine parts. If you ordered your “Duesie” with a supercharger, then it had huge, bright metal flex pipes flowing from under the hood. In contrast, if you bought a Ford V8, you got a motor painted drab green; if you bought a Chevy with a “stovebolt six” it was painted stove pipe gray. Automakers didn’t offer many dress-up parts in those days. As we’ll see in the section on period-correct aftermarket parts, following World War II the growth of hot rods and custom cars spawned the growth of mail order parts houses offering speed equipment for street driven cars. Some of this equipment was designed to dress-up the looks of engines (more often than not Ford’s flathead V8). By the mid-‘50s, enthusiasts could order all sorts of underhood appearance enhancements from these places, but not from Detroit. Car Fax 1958 – a publication that recorded new car costs, factory suggested prices and detailed prices for factory-installed optional equipment and accessories – didn’t list a single engine dress-up kit for Big 3 models or Studebakers or Ramblers. Even the Corvette and T-Bird had no shiny extras. This doesn’t mean all ‘50s-early ‘60s engines looked boring. Certain engine dress-up items were standard on cars like the Corvette and pricey options like fuel-injection or air conditioning may have included shiny engine bits. It’s also possible that dealer-installed accessories were put on before a car left the showroom. However, there were no factory dress-up kits until the mid-’60s. Specialty cars like the Corvette and T-Bird had distinctive-looking engines, that were optional in other Chevys and Fords. In 1962, the Pontiac Grand Prix came out for the sports-personal market niche and the 1963 Buick Riviera followed a year later. Then, the Mustang and GTO arrived in mid-1964 and both of them took factory engine dressup parts to a new level. By 1965, a 389-

cid V8 with chrome-plated rocker arm covers, oil filler cap and air cleaner was standard in GTOs. Ford marketed the Mustang as an entry-level sporty car with lots of options to boost its price. Mustang extras included Cobra engine dress-up kits. Other factory muscle cars like the Chevelle SS 396, Olds 442, Ford Fairlane GT, Dodge Coronet R/T, etc., came with dressed up engines. In 1965, Pontiac realized the chrome parts for the GTO’s 389-cid also its 421-cid V8, so a dressed-up 421 was used in the Catalina 2+2, a full-size muscle machine. Although the chrome parts were standard on these “factory hot rods,” anyone could order them through the dealer parts network and use them to dress-up a non-muscle model that came with a milder version of the same basic engine. It didn’t take the factories long to realize that a little bright work under the hood sold cars. By 1968, half of the 16 engines offered for Tempests, GTOs, Firebirds and big Pontiacs came with

chrome-plated low-restriction air cleaners and seven of those also included a chrome oil filler cap and rocker arm covers. By 1969, Ford made a bright engine dress-up kit and aluminum rocker arm covers part of its Ram Air option, but the parts could be ordered separately, too. Finding period-correct factory optional engine dress-up equipment is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Ads in car clubs devoted to one make of car may get you in touch with vendors who bought out old dealer inventories to get new old stock parts to sell. Auctions on eBay are another possibility, but beware of listings that say “also fits 1965 Mustang” as they are selling aftermarket parts (sometimes very cheap aftermarket parts) that fit your car and many others. Such parts will not give you the originality you are looking for. Hemmings Motor News is a julyly magazine with thousands of classified ads that can also help you locate very-hard-to-find factory-issued engine options.

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Feature The prices of NOS parts found today can shock you. An original AC chrome oil filler cap for a 1964-‘67 Pontiac 389-cid/400-cid V8 (GM part No. 5420359) was recently listed on eBay for $149.99. That compares to $34 for a correct chrome re-pop from Ames Performance ( Probably the only difference between the two is that the car with the NOS cap will win a few more points in a judged car show. However, it is that kind of bragging rights that collectors are willing to pay for. As they say, things are only original once.

Old School Aftermarket ‘Dress-Up’ Parts Racing car designer, builder and driver Joseph W. Jagersberger was born in Vienna, Austria in 1884. After high school he joined Mercedes as an engineering apprentice and he later became a demonstrator of the company’s products – sort of a public relations man. He started racing in France in 1897 and continued driving racing cars after he came to the United States in

32 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

1903 to join the Case racing team in Racine, WI. In 1914, he formed a company to make speed equipment for Model T Fords. Today, you’ll find cylinder heads made by his RAJO (RAcine JOe) Mfg Co. are part of “Speedy” Bill Smith’s vintage engine collection at Speedway Motors in Lincoln, NE. The RAJO story illustrates how far back the speed equipment industry started and the collectible nature – and value of – early speed equipment today. The following ad for a RAJO cylinder head appeared in 2011: RAJO MODEL T FORD OHV HEAD with all accessories. Rebuilt ready to go: $2,740. This is everything you need to convert your Model T to an overhead valve motor. Nicely rebuilt RAJO cylinder head, rebuilt rocker arm assemblies, push rods, head bolts, exhaust manifold and valve cover. Ready to go! For comparison, an original Model T Ford cylinder head that needed clean up was recently listed as a $9.99 buy-itnow item on eBay, while a perfect cylinder head that had been cleaned-

Circle 32 for more information

up was auctioned for a high bid of $85. It’s true that Joseph W. Jagersberger didn’t make his overhead valve conversions as a dress-up item. His was one of hundreds of companies making parts that enhanced the performance – rather than looks – of engines. However, it was from the same speed equipment industry that the development of engine dress-up parts evolved after World War II. Ray Richter of Bell, CA – a Los Angeles suburb – was a pioneer in catalog sales of speed equipment in the postwar era. His Bell Auto Parts “49” Catalog, distributed in 1949, was advertised as “the most comprehensive and up-to-date catalog of racing equipment.” The Bell Auto Parts “49” catalog offered speed equipment made by a long list of early suppliers. The back cover promoted Edelbrock, Offenhauser, Weland, Navarro, Tattersfeld, Knudsen, Harman and Collins, Winfield, J.E. Pistons, Thomas, Halibrand and Burns products. Although the external engine parts like cylinder heads, intake and exhaust manifolds, magne-

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Feature tos, air cleaners, exhaust headers and carburetors were sold as “racing equipment,” they also made the engines they went on look cool and many are considered dress-up items today. Some items in the 1949 Bell Catalog were actually described as parts that enhanced the appearance of an engine. “Made of steel tubing, these wire looms give the neat precision appearance of a professional racing engine. The sturdy brackets mount on the intake bolts, holding the wires away from oil and cylinder head temperatures,” noted the copy for chromeplated ignition wire looms that fit Ford and Mercury V8-85 motors and sold for $7.60 per pair (plus 5% excise tax). Other mainly dress-up items in the catalog were a chrome Air Maze air cleaner for FoMoCo flatheads ($4.25), a chrome Hellings air cleaner for engines running Riley carburetors ($6.25), Belond No. 855 chrome-plated exhaust headers for ’35-’48 Ford flatheads ($42.50), chromed Stromberg 97 carburetors ($10 exchange or $16 outright), polished chrome-plated carburetor

34 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

stacks ($1.25 each), a polished aluminum fuel pump stand ($1.75), chrome acorn manifold bolts specifically sized for Edelbrock Super and Offenhauser Dual Manifold intakes (25 cents each) and polished aluminum velocity stacks ($2 each). Automotive writer Ken Gross has always been fascinated with the Ford flathead V8. “I don’t know if it was because I was speed-equipmentdeprived as a child or what,” he told interviewer Phil Berg in his book, Ultimate Garages. “I just looked through issues of Hot Rod and I just wanted all of it (speed and dress-up parts),” he said. “And now I’ve got a lot of it.” Gross was talking about the 138 or so vintage Ford intake manifolds hanging on the wall of his garage.

Reproduction Old School Aftermarket Goodies To add to the value of a classic car, an aftermarket engine dress-up item has to have something special going for it. There are many chrome goodies that will fit certain vintage engines and

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brighten them up, but that alone won’t justify the cost of buying them. In fact, some cheaply made parts may fit poorly or start rusting very quickly or simply look “cheesy” on a collector car. Professional appraisers joke that there are cars that are worth more with their hoods closed! As we have already seen, the really special dress-up items are the factory chrome kits and the authentic vintage aftermarket parts that survived through the years. Due to the passage of time, such parts are difficult to find and a few may even be true rarities. Fortunately, over the past decade or so, the restoration parts industry has grown both in size and marketing sophistication. Even old line companies like Edelbrock and others have started selling replicas or exact reproductions of parts they sold years ago or parts made by other iconic hot rod parts suppliers. Edelbrock – which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year – could simply dust off old blueprints for its vintage parts. Egge Machine, for example,

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created Egge Speed Shop to sell Moon, Offenhauser, Wayne and OTB re-pops. “As old school looks in traditional hot rods and customs became popular, the perceived values of vintage engine dress-up items like Offenhauser valve covers, finned aluminum flathead oil filters, finned air filters and the like went through the roof,” explains Alan Mayes, managing editor of Ol’ Skool Rodz magazine. “If the items could be found at all, they were too expensive for the average guy to buy or too valuable to leave on an unattended car.” According to Mayes, the automotive aftermarket that caters to traditional hot rodders and customizers is small enough to act quickly, though. “Companies like Mooneyes (, O’Brien Truckers (, H&H Flatheads ( and several others stepped up to offer new replicas of those desirable old items,” Mayes notes. “ In some cases, they were even able to locate and refurbish the original molds. After all, back in the day, those parts were made by hot rodders who became entrepreneurs and everyone knows hot rodders don’t throw anything away!” An outgrowth of the swing to old style aftermarket dress-up parts is that engines which went out of vogue years ago are regaining popularity. This group includes early postwar Caddy V8s, Olds Rockets, Buick “nailheads,” Chrysler Firepower Hemis and even GMC-Chevy-Ford straight sixes and Olds-Buick-Pontiac-Packard straight eights. A few specialty vintage engine parts suppliers sell Offenhauser valve covers for 1953-1966 Buick nailheads and 1949-1956 Olds Rocket V8s. Smaller companies are also making vintage style parts. PML ( markets Cadillac valve covers for 1949-1967 Cadillacs with 331-, 365-, 390- and 429-cid V8s with four-bolt valve covers. For 1963-1967 390- and 429-cid engines, the PML covers will bolt on the heads, although the shape is different. You will need to use a 1954 Cadillac gasket to get the valve covers to seal on a 429. The finned covers carry the 1949 style Cadillac logo. As a niche market, the restoration engine business allows room for some creativity, too. Ross Racing Engines makes both speed parts and stock replacement parts for nostalgic OldsmoCircle 35 for more information 35

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Feature bile Rocket and J2 engines. One example – the company’s Lacey & Morse aluminum cylinder head for 1949-1964 Olds 303-, 324-, 371- and 394-cid V8s – is made for racing, but looks very shiny and dressy and shaves 70 lbs. off the weight of a stock head. Hot rodders and racers have no lock on the retro-look marketplace, either. Patrick M. Dykes of Casa Grande, AZ, ( sells engine dress-up items for 19321953 Ford V8s and 1937-1962 Chevy in-line sixes, but focuses largely on the old truck category. Patrick’s current vendors include two very famous names – Iskenderian and Offenhauser, while he manufactures (and, like all his parts, warrantees) other components himself. One of his specialties is parts for the GMC 228 thru 302-cid inline sixes. Chances are pretty good that the number of vendors making reproduction nostalgic parts will keep expanding. The 1949 Bell Catalog had 40 pages, plus covers, and there are still

Vic Edelbrock was one of the early pioneers in the industry and introduced many “dress up” items that quite a few parts shown in has continued today with items such as its #41403 it that haven’t been reproduced yet. In fact, there are valve cover with vintage 8-fin styling that fits the legendary 348-cid and 409-cid Chevy big-block V8s. some real niche-niche items like a Weiand polished aluminum head for sixes and Dodge truck engines priced the Studebaker Champion flathead six at $43.75. We wonder how many of priced at $43.25 and a dual-carb intake those they sold? ■ manifold for Chrysler and DeSoto

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Circle 28 for more information

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Track Talk Education, Hard Work Pays Off for Rev Racing’s Sickler Someone once said “It’s not where you start, but where you finish.” Considering the path to his current career in motorsports, that person could have been talking about 2003 NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) graduate Jonathan Sickler. For the last two years, Sickler has been an integral part of Rev Racing where he serves as a finish fabricator and drives the team rig that hauls the racecars. All those miles on the road and hours in the garage could take a toll on a person, but not Sickler. “If you’re passionate about

what you do and enjoy it, it doesn’t seem like work,” says Sickler. Even if it doesn’t seem like work, the time and effort Sickler and his team put in has been well worth it. Last November, the No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota team driven by Kyle Larson captured the K&N Pro Series East crown, marking the first NASCAR touring championship for Rev Racing and NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative. More than a decade ago, when Sickler was installing car stereos in Pinellas Park, FL, NASCAR championship trophies were not exactly top of

mind. However, as he worked more with cars, he developed a passion for them, even beyond the stereo component. Taking on the same tasks, day after day, he was ready for a change, and knew that expanding his knowledge of cars was the first step. At 25, Sickler packed up his belongings, drove across the country and enrolled at the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Avondale, AZ campus and completed the 51-week Core Automotive Program. With a solid mechanical foundation, Sickler was ready for more. “Race City, USA” and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) was his next pit stop. “The curriculum was really strong and I was at the age

Jonathan Sickler helped Rev Racing capture the 2012 K&N Pro Series East crown. A UTI and NASCAR Tech graduate, Sickler says education and hands-on automotive experience is the differentiator shops and race teams look for when hiring.

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where I was mature enough to understand what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there,” explains Sickler. “NASCAR Tech provided a platform for me to accomplish my goals.” At 27, Sickler was not deterred from reaching the pinnacle of the racing world. He proves that no matter your age, a career in the automotive industry is possible. “Shops and race teams are looking for qualified, skilled and passionate individuals,” says John Dodson, community/NASCAR team relations director at NASCAR Tech. “Those are the types of graduates we turn out, and they get the job done.” Sickler is talented and motivated, but notes that without the education he received at UTI and NASCAR Tech, he would not be where he is today. “You have to have an education in automotive technology to get into racing,” says Sickler. “It’s really competitive and hands-on experience is the differentiator race teams are looking for.” Sickler realizes how fortunate he is to be in this position and wants others to know that all things are possible. “Whatever you put into life you will to get out of it,” he says. “If you work hard and believe in what you’re trying to accomplish, you can do it.” For more information about NASCAR Tech’s 10 years of starting careers, visit


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Cleaning Blocks & Cylinder Heads It’s just as important as your machining operations


leaning engine blocks and cylin- quickly forms a surface layer of aluder heads is just as important as minum oxide that stops further oxidathe machining operations you tion, and the color is the same as the will perform on the castings. You can’t base metal so there is no change in apdo a thorough job of inspecting these pearance or color. Most customers want parts if they are dirty, greasy or cova bright, like-new finish on their aluered with paint or corrosion. Checking minum heads and blocks so it’s imporfor cracks in cast iron heads and blocks tant you use a cleaning process that can requires a clean surface for the magdo just that. Of course, the other option netic particle detection powder. Likeis to camouflage a discolored casting wise, checking aluminum castings for with aluminum paint before it goes out hairline cracks with penetrating dye the door. also requires a clean surface. Even Cast iron, by comparison, can withporosity leaks in aluminum heads and stand just about any cleaning process blocks may be masked if there’s a you can throw at it: harsh caustic heavy layer of gunk on the metal. chemical solutions, acid dips, lots of You also don’t want to gum up heat (indirect heat or open flame) and your shop equipment while you’re almost any kind of abrasive blast machining the castings, and you don’t media. But as tough as cast iron is, its want any surface contaminants interAchilles’ heel is rust. Iron has a strong fering with precision machine work affinity for oxygen and wants to revert such as honing or resurfacing. Most back to its natural state (iron oxide) as late-model heads require a mirror-like soon as clean bare metal is exposed to finish to seal the MLS gaskets, so any air – especially if there’s moisture or debris that’s snagged and drug across humidity to accelerate the process. Bethe metal by the milling head may mar the mating surface. The process you choose to clean blocks and Clean bare metal is all you heads must be effective at removing dirt, want to see following the initial grease, oil, paint, carbon, rust and scale from internal as well as external surfaces. This head cleaning process. was half cleaned with an ultrasonic system. There’s no single cleaning process that is right for every application because aluminum and cast iron are very different metals. Aluminum is much softer than cast iron and much more sensitive to high temperatures (anything over 450° to 500° F.). Too much heat can anneal and soften the metal. Aluminum is also porous and more chemically reactive than cast iron. Harsh cleaning solutions that work well on cast iron may discolor and tarnish aluminum’s naturally bright finish. Clean bare aluminum 38 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

cause of this, rust control and prevention are major concerns when cleaning and preserving cast iron blocks and heads. The cleaning process you choose to use on cast iron should therefore include some type of rust inhibitor or post treatment to prevent the metal from turning an ugly brownish red. The castings will eventually be painted or powder coated, but it’s important to keep rust formation to a minimum until the assembled parts are either returned to the customer or are ready to paint.

Making Dirty Parts Clean After tens of thousands of miles of everyday driving, even the cleanest engine is covered with crud. Oil leaks and dirt combine to form a greasy coating on the outside of the engine. The factory paint can chip and peel away as a result of heat and surface corrosion, allowing exposed iron to rust. Aluminum heads and blocks can become dull and discolored. Road salt can etch and corrode aluminum, and form a

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rusty crumbly mess on exposed cast iron surfaces. Internally, engines get dirty too, with hard carbon deposits coating the combustion chambers and exhaust ports. Scale and lime deposits can form a thermal barrier inside the cooling jackets around the cylinders and combustion chambers. Oil varnish deposits

and sludge can build up in oil galleys, valleys and other internal block and head surfaces that are bathed with oil. All of these external and internal surface contaminants have to be removed by the cleaning process you choose, not only to allow inspection and relatively clean machining but to also eliminate contaminants that could

cause trouble if not removed. Machined parts also require some type of post-cleaning to remove oils, metal chips and honing residue. Never assume a customer will do a good job of cleaning their block and heads after you’ve done the required machine work. They might or they might not, but if there are any problems they will likely blame you when contaminants chew up the bearings, score the crank or cam journals, scuff the cylinders and pistons or cause the engine to fail. Think of post-cleaning as added insurance against comebacks. Post-cleaning after machining should remove all traces of metal chips and honing residue as well as any blast media or shot reside that may be lurking in nooks and crannies of the heads and block. The final cleaning process should leave the metal with a bright, clean, cosmetically-appealing finish – unless, of course, you are painting the castings. Even then, you need an oilfree clean surface for the paint to stick.

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Choosing A Cleaning Process Obviously, the process you choose to clean blocks and heads must be effective at removing dirt, grease, oil, paint, carbon, rust and scale from internal as well as external surfaces. The process should also require the least amount of time, labor and energy to complete because cleaning costs can often account for as much as 20 to 30 percent of the cost of rebuilding some engines. The less manual labor it takes to clean the parts, the better. Besides, cleaning is a dirty job that nobody loves doing so the more automation you can incorporate into the process, the more your employees will appreciate it. The best cleaning methods only require you to load the parts and turn on the equipment. So whether it’s load and spray, soak and penetrate, cook and vaporize, or blast and rinse, the more work the cleaning equipment can do for you, the less handling, scrubbing and scraping you’ll have to do to get the parts clean. There are lots of ways to clean blocks and heads and different shops use different cleaning techniques for different reasons. If you’re building performance engines and working primarily with new castings, you shouldn’t have to deal with much dirt and grease and grime. Post-machining Circle 40 for more information 40 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

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cleaning to remove cutting oils, metal chips and honing residue is probably all you’ll have to worry about. On the other hand, if you’re rebuilding old, dirty, greasy, high-mileage engines that look like they’ve been dragged through the mud behind a 4X4 or used as a boat anchor for the past 30 years, cleaning can be more of a challenge. Cost is another variable that affects the type of cleaning process you may choose to use. If you can’t afford the equipment, it’s not an option. Spray cabinets and thermal ovens and flame rotisseries and ultrasonic tanks and blast cabinets are great to own, but if all you can afford is a discount store power washer and a small solvent tank, your cleaning capabilities will be greatly limited. Spray aerosols such as gasket remover, engine degreaser, brake cleaner or general purpose cleaners can all be used to clean heads and blocks, but they also take a lot of scrubbing and hand washing to get the parts clean. That’s why you need to think about upgrading your cleaning capabilities if you are still cleaning parts the

PG 50 >> Supply Line

old fashioned – and often environmentally-unfriendly – way. Space limitations within your shop may also limit your ability to use the type of cleaning equipment you’d like to use. If this is the case, you may be able to farm out some of your more challenging cleaning needs to another shop. You may also encounter environmental restrictions on the type of cleaning processes and chemicals you can use. Some jurisdictions may limit stack emissions from thermal cleaning systems or the use of high VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) chemicals. There may also be restrictions on what you can pour down the drain or send to a local landfill. Hazardous waste disposal costs can really add up, so the less waste you produce, the less cost you’ll have to bear in getting rid of it. You also have to consider the cost of the cleaning equipment, the cost to maintain that equipment (maintenance contracts and repairs), the cost to operate the equipment (energy costs and energy efficiency), and the cost to get


rid of any residues or hazardous waste generated by the cleaning process. Your equipment supplier can fill you in on the details here. Just make sure you ask all the right questions and get them answered to your satisfaction!

Which Cleaning Process Works Best? It depends entirely on the application. The first and foremost consideration should be the effectiveness of the cleaning process. Does it remove all of the contaminants and get the heads and block reasonably clean? In some instances, it may take more than one type of cleaning process to achieve the state of cleanliness you desire. A process that does a great job removing dirt, grease and oil may not do as well removing rust or carbon. Some cleaning processes that work extremely well on the exterior surfaces of castings (such as spray washing) don’t do much of anything to clean the insides of the casting such as the cooling jackets and oil galleys. So you have to pick and choose the process or combination of

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processes that will do everything you want to accomplish. Spray washers are great for washing off external surfaces as well as any exposed internal surfaces the jet stream can reach. Spray washers require the right type of detergent for the metal being cleaned, and are most effective when the water temperature is maintained within the specified working range of the cleaner (which may range from room temperature up to 170° F or more). Hotter usually cleans better, but hotter also increases your energy costs. Hot tanks (filled with caustic or some type of aqueous cleaner) are good at cleaning both the inside and outside surfaces of castings. Submerging the parts and allowing them to soak for an extended period of time will loosen most of the stuff you don’t want on the metal. As with spray washers, heat usually accelerates the cleaning process as does agitation. The concentration of the cleaning solution in the tank also has to be maintained and replenished as needed to keep the

tank operating at peak efficiency. The gunk that settles to the bottom also has to be cleaned out periodically. Choosing the right chemicals or detergents is absolutely essential for effective cleaning. A highly caustic solution in a hot tank or spray washer can do an excellent job of cleaning cast iron heads and blocks, but it may discolor or etch aluminum. Conversely, a cleaning agent or detergent that is formulated for aluminum may not be the best choice for cleaning cast iron. Some cleaning products are “general purpose” cleaners that can be used on both cast iron and aluminum, but there may be tradeoffs such as longer process times to clean cast iron or some metal discoloration when cleaning aluminum. An ultrasonic tank can do magic on all kinds of parts. The ultrasonic sound waves literally blast dirt and grime off both external and internal surfaces with tiny imploding bubbles. Ultrasonic cleaning can also reach into blind holes and deep recesses to blast the

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surface clean. If you’ve never seen ultrasonics in action, you will be amazed at how grease and oil just melts off the surface – and it’s extremely fast provided the parts are not caked with a heavy thick coating of dirt and grease. Ultrasonics is often used as a secondary fine cleaning process after parts have been spray washed or baked. The frequency and power level of the ultrasonics can be tuned to the type of parts being cleaned, giving you even more leverage in your battle against grime. Thermal cleaning in a oven or an open flame rotisserie can burn off gunk both inside and outside blocks and heads. An open flame is especially good at burning off high temperature oils such as synthetics. But thermal cleaning always requires a subsequent cleaning process (shot blast, glass bead, soda blast or spray washing) to remove the ash residue. Too much heat can anneal and soften aluminum castings, so the heat has to be turned down when cleaning aluminum heads or blocks. You should never attempt to

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clean cast iron and aluminum parts in the same batch. High temperatures inside a cleaning oven can also loosen the seats and valve guides in aluminum heads. If the seats and guides are being replaced anyway, it’s no big deal and may save you some disassembly time. On the other hand, if the original seats and guides are being reused, and you don’t want them to fall out, thermal cleaning may not be the best option for aluminum heads. The cleaning technique (or combination of methods) you use should leave the heads and block free of dirt, grease, carbon and lime deposits. Residual carbon deposits that are still clinging to combustion chambers or exhaust ports can be brushed or blasted away, but that requires additional manual labor (which should be avoided to minimize your cleaning costs). The cosmetic appearance of the metal doesn’t matter until the final postmachining cleaning has been completed and the block and heads are

PG 50 >> Supply Line

ready to be assembled, painted and/or bagged and returned to the customer. Bagging is highly recommended to keep out dirt while parts are being stored and transported. When final cleaning an engine block, the cylinders should be manually scrubbed with hot soapy water to remove all traces of honing residue from the bore surfaces. Wiping the cylinders with ATF or WD-40 can prevent rust but it won’t remove honing residue. You have to use detergent to loosen, lift and wash away the residue. Dry blasting aluminum with glass beads, aluminum oxide grit or steel shot (stainless works well and lasts a long time but is expensive) can remove discoloration. But this requires an additional cleaning step to make sure no beads, grit or shot are left behind in any of the nooks and crannies of the casting. Masking off the valve guide and cooling jacket openings prior to bead or grit blasting can reduce the risk of media being retained. Another cleaning alternative is to

use a soft blast media such as plastic beads, walnut shells or baking soda to clean both cast iron and aluminum castings. Baking soda has proved to be an effective cleaning media on cast iron and aluminum, and can be used dry or mixed with water to create a cleaning slurry. Adding some aluminum oxide to the mixture can increase its cutting action even more. Baking soda is relatively soft compared to other traditional blast media (only 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale), and it is inexpensive and is water soluble (making it easy to wash off afterwards). It can scour away carbon, rust and paint, but unlike other media dry soda can only be used once (wet soda can make several passes). When baking soda hits the surface of the metal, it fractures as it knocks loose the surface contaminants. This creates a lot of dust, so the blasting has to be done in a sealed cabinet. By comparison, wet soda blasting is a closed-loop process that eliminates the dust. ■

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

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


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

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

For further case studies and more information go to or call 800-332-5424 ARMEX® and ARM & HAMMER® are registered trademarks of Church & Dwight Company. ISO9002 Circle 43 for more information 43


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Built for Auction


SEMA Scholarship Engine Build Helps Students Seeking Automotive Industry Careers


he criteria for selecting Engine der, Rod Johnson, met with Ed Pink Builder magazine’s inaugural and Frank Honsowetz of EPRE at the “Performance Engine Builder of PRI Show and they chose a course of the Year” included much more than action. the ability to put together race-winA solid foundation for the build ning engines. Things like community came in the form of a Dart small block involvement and the support of train- Chevrolet SHP cast iron block, which ing and education were part of the was mated to Dart SHP aluminum mix. To be sure, our 2012 award wincylinder heads. From that point on, ner, Ed Pink Racing Engines of Van the build was the proverbial “clean Nuys, CA, scored high marks in these sheet of paper.” Johnson wanted an areas – most notably through their engine for his dad’s street-driven 1955 support of the SEMA Memorial Schol- Chevy pickup; something with good arship Fund (SMSF), which has, over performance, but completely docile. the years, provided close to $2 million As you know, cubic inches are alin aid to students seeking ways a good way to get more power careers in the automotive without sacrificing reliability, so a industry. Scat 4340 forged steel stroker crank An important means for raising (3.750” stroke) was selected, as were scholarship funds has been the anScat 4340 H-beam connecting rods nual auctioning of an engine on eBay. (5.700” length) along with Clevite rod This engine is built and main bearings Polished aluminum abounds on entirely of the SEMA Scholarship Engine, aftermarket compothanks to the Holley EFI, Monents manufactured roso valve covers, Edelbrock by SEMA member front cover and water pump and companies. And it’s March pulleys. been configured, built and dyno tested by the personnel of Ed Pink Racing Engines. In addition to being responsible for engines that have won the Indy 500, plus captured numerous championships in drag racing, off-road, sprint car, midget and road racing competition, the folks at EPRE also know what it takes to build a topshelf street motor. Rather than have a complete, prepackaged dyno-tested engine for sale, a unique twist to the 2012-’13 program was to tailor the build to the needs of the buyer. The winning bid44 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

and Fel-Pro gaskets. An ATI Super Damper augmented the internally balanced engine. MAHLE forged aluminum pistons (4.145” bore) and Total Seal piston rings were employed in the 405 cid package, which came with a 9.55:1 compression ratio. The Dart heads featured 200cc intake ports, 64cc combustion chambers, and had 2.02” intake and 1.60” diameter exhaust valves; a good balance between air/fuel flow and velocity. Continuing with the premise of having a streetable power curve, a Comp Cams hydraulic roller (#12647-8) was used. A set of Manley onepiece chrome moly pushrods connected the Comp hydraulic roller lifters to the Comp 1.6 aluminum roller rockers. This gave the engine a net lift of 0.612” at the valve, with a duration of 248° (intake) and 255° (ex-

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haust) at .050° with zero lash. A Milodon high-performance oil pump and a 6-quart Milodon pan handled the small block’s lubrication needs, with Driven racing oil utilized. Cooling came via an Edelbrock water pump. An Edelbrock front cover housed a Comp timing set. A set of Hedman hedders, appropriate to the vehicle, was also provided. All the fasteners used in the build were from ARP. They ranged from 4130 chrome moly head studs, main studs and rod bolts all the way to polished stainless steel 12-point accessory fasteners. The high-performance alternator and starter were manufactured by PowerMaster, while a set of March brackets and pulleys added a nice finishing touch. To provide the engine with a distinctive “look” and all-around performance a Holley EFI was selected. The polished aluminum injector features a 2x58mm throttle body, a Stealth Ram intake, and fuel injectors rated at 35 lbs. per hour. A FAST distributor was used to signal the Holley ECU,

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with a Crane HI-6 ignition and coil providing the power to the Moroso plug wires and Champion spark plugs. The fuel pressure required at WOT was 43 psi, and the distributor had 33° advance. A pair of Moroso polished aluminum valve covers, specially engraved with the SEMA and Ed Pink Racing Engines logo, add to the engine’s exclusivity. After all the normal break-in procedures were completed the engine was put through its paces on the dyno, with adjustments to ignition timing and fuel mapping Cylinder head specialist Craig McCormick dialed in the valve train of the SEMA Scholarship engine.

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made to optimize performance. The engine cranked out an impressive 475 ft.lbs. of peak torque at 4,500 rpm, and exhibited a very wide torque band that showed in excess of 400 ft lbs. for about 2,500 rpm. Peak power was a steady 453 horsepower, which it held between 5,500 and 5,800 rpm. Needless to say, with its broad power band the SEMA/Ed Pink small block will make for an excellent “driver.” The beauty of the Holley EFI is that the ECU will “learn” the actual driving parameters of Johnson’s Chevy and make the Noted engine builder Ed Pink necessary finite adjust(right) is joined by Mike and Rod ments for optimum perJohnson, who are putting the formance. engine in a classic Chevy pickup Thanks to the efforts of they’re building for their dad. almost two-dozen SEMA member manufacturers and the considerable skills of Ed Pink Racing Engines, a potent, good-looking engine was built to benefit young peoor trade school students, with a perple wishing a career in the automotive centage dedicated to children of SEMA aftermarket. These scholarships are member employees. A “loan forgiveavailable to university, 2-year college ness” program for paying off student

Circle 14 for more information 46 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

loans for employees of SEMA member companies is also available. Application information is available at ■

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EPRE technician Lauren Arana is shown working on the SEMA Scholarship engine in the early phase of construction.

Frank Honsowetz, General Manager of Ed Pink Racing Engines, poses with the Dart SHP block that was the foundation for the small block build.

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A “bonus” for Johnson was touring the Ed Pink Racing Engines facility. Here EPRE’s Larry Ingham shows off a rare Novi engine from the Indy 500 currently under restoration.

It takes a combination of parts and people to build an engine. Here are Ed Pink Racing Engines staffers (l to r) Tom Schlaak, Bill Wood, Craig McCormick, Lauren Arana, Larry Ingham and Felipe Javier who had a hand in the build.

Wickersham mapped the ECU and made a series of partial pulls, “dialing in” the fuel curve of the Holley EFI. Once in the host vehicle the EFI will self-program to match driving conditions. 47

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Circle 48 for more information

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 not, this will reduce stress and keep the confusion down, leaving only customers engines, which you’ll keep organized and continually moving in and out of the shop. While we’re talking organizing, establish a way to order and check-in your parts. Before computers, I used to use a simple “0” next to the part that needed ordering from the work order. It became an “8” if it was ordered and a black blob if it was in the premises. You’re more creative than that, I’m sure, but it was easy and anyone could look at a work order and know what was happening with the parts acquisition. Being organized and professional will make you money. Professionals garner repeat customers and referrals. These are your best hope for future customers. You can’t refer someone to a business that does not represent itself well because this can reflect back on you. People will feel good referring others to a clean, neat and well organized business, even if the business charged slightly higher prices than the dark and dangerous cave across town. If “location, location, location” are the three most important things in real estate, then you must know by now that my three most important things for success in the automotive aftermarket are “profit, profit, profit.” Don’t be silly and think I am driven only by money. That’s crazy. But without profit, you’re not here tomorrow, period. Without profits, you can’t buy pallet racking or a computer. And you’re not going to be able to get as organized and professional as you’d like. How many profit centers in your shop? If you’ve answered “two,” parts and labor, I feel that might be a little shortsighted. In the broadest sense, yes, but in a managerial or ownership position you must see it as much more. Parts might be calculated to include what is needed to complete the job, plus the profits that can come from add-on sales. Related parts, chemicals, paint or performance oils and additives all have the potential to put more money in your pocket. This can also be expanded to include, but not limited to, clutches, water pumps and motor mounts. You might also set up a

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wholesale account with a parts store or traditional WD and supply your customers with everything they need to complete the job, including belts, hoses and ignition parts. Labor might be easier to see. How many employees, counting yourself? How many profit centers? Granted, your wife or accountant might not be producing labor out of the shop, but I hope everyone else is making you a profit. Now let’s count machines. Each machine is capable of generating income and hopefully profit. If not, why? A machine needs to be able to produce; Otherwise it’s just wasting space that could be occupied by some greasy old cores. Seriously, consider each machine and each operation. I regularly hear that the cylinder head department generates the highest dollar per hour in most shops. This tells me that the other operations need to be addressed. Start timing your major machining operations and compare your findings to your published or preferred hourly rate. If you’re not meeting or beating those numbers, it’s time for a price increase for that operation. You got into business to make money, if you want to continue you will occasionally need to raise your prices. Check around with other shops that offer similar services as your own. See what they are charging. Now compare the variables. Can you charge a little bit more? Do you have newer and faster equipment? Can you provide additional services that the others cannot? Look at it from many angles. This will help you determine your selling strategies as well. Now you can see a difference and you need to highlight these differences while talking with your potential customers. Don’t forget that the atmosphere of your clean organized business will also help you because customers will expect to pay a little more in this environment. Conversely, if your business is a wreck, and still looks stuck in 1974 you’ll be perceived as just that up-to-date. If it is dirty, unorganized and generally looks under-funded, then that’s what customers will expect to pay: 1970s-era prices that reflect a poor cut rate business. It’s the choice of the now generation of shop owners. POP or SODA? You decide. ■

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Supply Line

50 Supply Line 7/17/13 9:03 AM Page 50

>>New Products

Voodoo Engine Kits Voodoo Engine Kits range from the complete engine kit – including the full rotating assembly, camshaft, lifters and a timing set – down to a traditional balanced rotating kit that includes the crankshaft, rods, pistons, rings and bearings. Each kit has been precisely matched and built to exact engine specs, making them ideal for street performance and racing. Circle Number 125 Or call (662) 892-1500

Ultra-Gold ARC Series Aluminum Rocker Arms COMP Cams LS Non-Adjustable Ultra-Gold ARC Series Aluminum Rockers are more durable than both stock rockers and other aftermarket aluminum rocker designs. A CNC-extruded body provides increased strength and stiffness, which is especially important for higher-load springs. The roller tip, meanwhile, is an upgrade over the stock slider, which is not meant for use with high-lift cams and springs that see increased load. What's more, a largerthan-stock billet trunnion package features captured needle bearings to help prevent failure. The rockers include pedestal mounts and bolts, and feature a non-adjustable, bolt-down design. Circle Number 126 Or call (800) 999-0853

Titus – Aftermarket Cleveland Engine Block Accepting standard Cleveland accessories and hardware, these new larger displacement blocks from McKeown Motorsport Engineering (MME), dubbed Titus, are available in aluminum or cast iron, with deck heights of 9.2˝ or 9.5˝ and with bore sizes ranging from 4.00˝ to 4.20˝. As anticipated, MME’s Titus engines are suitable for street or strip use and for most forms of drag, oval track, and road racing. Needless to say, they operate in naturally aspirated form or with 50 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

nitrous, turbochargers, or superchargers. More importantly, they are designed to handle extreme power, they mate to stock components and operate easily in standard street cars. Unlike the original Cleveland block, the lubrication system has been redesigned for priority oiling to the main bearings with the ability to adjust oil flow elsewhere. In addition, the main webs are designed for strength, providing the greatest amount of material for 4.38˝ bore centers. Other key upgrades contained in the options lists include: solid water jackets; deck heights of 9.100˝ to 9.700˝; 14- or 18-bolt cylinder heads; bushed lifter bores and more. Circle Number 127 Or call (301) 932-9292

Electric Racing Water Pump PRW’s Performance Quotient Series chrome high flow electric racing water pumps were designed to alleviate the power drag produced by conventional pulley drive units. A heavy-duty electric motor, turning at approximately 1,500 rpm, is more than adequate to fulfill cooling needs without draining horsepower from the engine. The unit can be wired to operate manually, even with the engine off. The motor life is rated at 2,750 hours of continuous operation at 176° F. Kit comes complete with gaskets, billet aluminum inlet fitting, mounting hardware, pigtail connector, and timing cover block-off plate (Ford applications) and is available for SBC, BBC, BBF, SBF and Ford 351 Cleveland applications. Circle Number 128 Or call (714) 792-1000

51-53 Spotlights 7/17/13 9:02 AM Page 51

Product Spotlights

2X Zinc Formula Reduces Engine Wear Maxima Performance Break-In Oil is specifically designed for breaking in engines with flat tappet camshafts, roller elements or where elevated levels of anti-wear additives are needed. Complex 2X Zinc structure protects for an extended temperature range, outperforming conventional break-in oils.

Maxima Racing Oils Phone: 800-345-8761 Circle 102 Circle 101

Circle 103

Have You Been To

Engine Pro High Performance Connecting Rods

The Engine Builder website - - provides weekly updated news, products and technical information

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,

along with the same in-depth editorial content as the magazine. Technical, product and equipment, market research, business management and financial information is all searchable by keywords making it easy for engine builders to find the information they need from current and past issues. Currently the site receives more than 120,000+ page views/impressions per month and growing!

Engine Pro

Engine Builder

Phone: 800-ENGINE-1

Phone:330-670-1234 Circle 104

Circle 105 51

Product Spotlights

51-53 Spotlights 7/17/13 9:02 AM Page 52

Ford 5.4L 3V Camshafts

Elgin Industries offers the aftermarket’s most complete line of precisionengineered stock and performance camshafts for today’s leading engines. Now engine builders can restore OE performance and reliability to Ford 5.4L 3-valve (VIN 5) engines with the following premium-quality Elgin cams: E-1830-S (Left) 2005-2008 E-1831-S (Right) 2005-2008

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

Clemco Industries Corp.

Elgin Industries Phone: 800-323-6764

Phone: 800-788-0599

Circle 108 Circle 107

Circle 106

Mobil 1 Racing Oil 0W-50 Mobil 1 Racing 0W-50 is a fully synthetic motor oil specifically designed to maximize horsepower in a wide range of race engine applications, including highly loaded flat tappet designs used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Mobil 1 Racing oils were engineered to help on-track vehicles reach the peak of their performance potential. It is recommended for applications where a higher viscosity and thicker oil film are required such as longer duration races where heat build-up may be an issue.

Mobil 1 Racing Phone: 866-254-7103 Circle 109 52 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

Circle 110

Circle 111

51-53 Spotlights 7/17/13 9:02 AM Page 53

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.

S.B. International Phone:1-800-THE-SEAT Circle 113 Circle 114

Circle 112

15W-50 Racing Oil

AMSOIL Dominator Synthetic 15W50 Racing Oil (RD50) provides superior performance and maximum protection in high-performance and racing applications. Dominator is engineered from advanced synthetic technology to better withstand the elevated rpm, high temperatures and shock-loading common to racing applications. Its robust formulation, tested and validated by championship race teams, is designed to provide maximum horsepower without sacrificing engine protection. Dominator provides straight-grade protection in a multigrade formulation.

AMSOIL INC. Phone: 715-399-8324 Circle 115

“No particle left behind” with ARMEX® baking soda-based, water-soluble media from the makers of Arm & Hammer® Products. Clean, degrease and depaint core engine components in one step. Water-rinse residues away.

ArmaKleen Phone: 800-332-5424 Email: Circle 116

Circle 117 53

Product Spotlights

Web-Based Valvetrain Parts Catalog


54-55 Class-Cores 7/17/13 9:01 AM Page 54



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

Need Reprints? Call

Tina Purnell at

330-670-1234, ext. 243

To Advertise in

CLASSIFIEDS! Roberto Almenar

Call at 330-670-1234, ext. 233

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

Engine Builder Phone: 330-670-1234 54 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

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

What Type of Direct Marketing Initiatives Do You Have in Store for 2013? Direct Mail E-Mail Marketing Telemarketing New Business • Prospecting Drive Web Site

Traffic Database Enhancement Catalog Mailing Promote Upcoming Tradeshows

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

54-55 Class-Cores 7/17/13 9:01 AM Page 55



GRANT (314) 421-5585 ST. LOUIS ★ FAX (314) 421-1436 (888) 421-5585




3815 N. 21st ST.


ST. LOUIS, MO 63107

Call now to order or to receive a free 2013 catalog 1-800-434-5141

Advertiser Index COMPANY NAME


Access Industries

Cover 3


Darton International




Dipaco Inc.



Mobil 1 Racing



National Cylinder Head


36 33

Amsoil Inc



DNJ Engine Components



NPR of America, Inc.


ArmaKleen Company



Driven Racing Oil, LLC



Packard Industries



ARP/Automotive Racing Products Inc



Edelbrock Corp



Quality Cutter Grinding



Atech Motorsports



Elgin Industries

Cover 2

Avon Automotive Products



Engine & Performance Warehouse


Bill Mitchell Products



Engine Parts Group

BlueDevil Products



Engine Parts Warehouse

Brad Penn Lubricants



ESCO Industries

Brock Supply



Chrysler Group LLC/MOPAR




Quality Power Products




Rottler Manufacturing

Cover 4




SB International




Scat Enterprises





SCE Gaskets



GRP Connecting Rods






Henkel Corp



Spectro Oils Of America




Clemco Industries



Injector Experts






Comp Performance Group



King Electronics



United Engine & Machine



Dakota Parts Warehouse



Liberty Engine Parts



Dart Machinery Ltd



Maxima Racing Oils


23 55

56 Doug K. 7/17/13 9:01 AM Page 56

Final Wrap

Start Your Engines

Champions celebrated here


verybody is looking for something. Johnny Lee was looking for love in all the wrong places. The Marines are looking for a few good men. Here at Engine Builder magazine, we’re really no different – we’re looking for love (in a manner of speaking) on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Have you checked out our social media presence yet? If not, I encourage you to do so. And, like the Marines, we’re also looking for a few good men...performance engine builders, actually. The second-annual Performance Engine Builder of the Year Contest has started and the search for greatness is officially underway. Engine Builder magazine and Driven Racing Oil are again 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. You’re out there – somewhere –

and I’d like to offer a hearty congratulations in advance. The Second-Annual Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award will be presented in a special presentation during this year’s Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) December 9-11 in Indianapolis, and performance builders of all types are eligible. Engine builders can nominate their own businesses, or others can nominate performance engine building businesses. The entry process is simple: just go to and answer a few simple questions to get started. Those making the nomination need to provide basic information about the engine builder being nominated and write a short (300-word maximum) essay explaining why that operation should be considered. From there, all entrants will be reviewed and a group of semi-finalists will be selected. Those semi-finalists will then be asked to provide additional information for judging. A panel of judges, including, representatives from Driven Racing Oil and the

Associate Publisher/Editor Doug Kaufman, ext. 262 3550 Embassy Parkway Akron, OH 44333-8318 FAX 330-670-0874


56 July 2013 | EngineBuilder

Senior Executive Editor Brendan Baker, ext. 228 Tech Editor Larry Carley Group Publisher Jeff Stankard, ext. 282

Graphic Designer Nichole Anderson, ext. 232 Advertising Services Tina Purnell, ext. 243

Sales Representatives Roberto Almenar 330-670-1234, ext. 233 David Benson 330-670-1234 ext. 210

Director of Distribution Rich Zisk, ext. 287

Bobbie Adams 330-670-1234, ext. 238

Circulation Manager Pat Robinson, ext. 276

Don Hemming 330-670-1234, ext. 286

Sr. Circulation Specialist Ellen Mays, ext. 275

Karen Kaim 330-670-1234, ext. 295


Engine Builder staff will select the three finalists and, ultimately, the Performance Engine Builder of the Year Award winner. You can win an iPad, hotel accommodations in Indianapolis and admission to the 24th Annual AETC, a fancy Engine Builder of the Year plaque for your lobby or office wall and $1,000, as well as a bunch of other goodies. But that’s not all. As Frank Honsowetz and the gang at Ed Pink Racing Engines can attest (winners of our inaugural contest in 2012), one of the best prizes is bragging rights. Winning this contest gives you the chance to call yourself the current Performance Engine Builder of the Year for the next 12 months and a past winner for the rest of your career. Pretty sweet. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes is said to have wandered the streets of Athens with a lantern in daylight looking for an honest man. When it comes to your analysis of why you’re the top of the performance heap, we’re leaving the light on for you. ■

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

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

c3 access_Layout 1 7/17/13 9:26 AM Page c3

Circle 57 on Reader Service Card for more information

c4 rottler_Layout 1 7/17/13 9:26 AM Page c4

Circle 60 on Reader Service Card for more information

Engine Builder, July 2013