Read Shoptalk text version



Learn about antifreeze and how important it is for your engine Page 6

On The Same Page

"Building 4.6/5.4L Ford Horsepower on the Dyno" reviewed Page 11


Meet AERA member Ramon Luna from Mexico Page 12

The Daily Grind

"Don't Get Your Short (Blocks) in a Knot" by Rick Cogbill Page 17


The AERA website now offers e-commerce capabilities so products such as manuals, shop supplies, SMS software, and other items can be purchased online. Looking for a tech publication? AERA's list of technical publications compiled since 1968 are also available for online ordering. You can even register for conventions, reserve booth space, and pay membership fees online. In addition, there are member forums and an abundance of forms and other information available for downloading. We invite you to visit and see for yourself how much there really is to offer! With the increased convenience that these new features offer current members and prospects, advertising on the AERA website is an ideal way to get your message directly to the shops who are building, rebuilding and installing engines professionally. Premium Sponsor, Sponsor and Partner advertising opportunities are available. Call AERA toll-free at 888-326-2372 for more information -- or download the flyer at:

SHOPTALK 330 Lexington Drive Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-6998 847-541-6550 847-541-5808 fax Chairman of the Board Rob Munro Kamloops, BC Canada First Vice Chairman Domingo Gonzales Pharr, TX Second Vice Chairman Allen Lyon Farmington, NM Treasurer John DeBates St. Charles, IL President John Goodman [email protected] SHOPTALK STAFF Marketing Consultant Jim Rickoff [email protected] Editor /Graphic Design Maria Hoeppner [email protected] CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS Jeff Gillen, member since 1986 DLK Auto Parts Caro Brothers Inc. Russellton, Pennsylvania Joseph Jill, member since 1999 Superior Automotive Anaheim, California Fred Shirbroun, member since 1978 Denison Machine Inc Denison, Iowa Dick Moritz, member since 1991 Moritz Machine Tulsa, Oklahoma JANUARY TECH BULLETINS -- the best resource on the web for engine builders, rebuilders, production engine remanufacturers and installers.

ES 379 TB 2410 TB 2411 TB 2412 TB 2413 TB 2414 TB 2415

Caterpillar 3204 Diesel Volkswagen, Engine Oil Leaks General, The Use of Surface Conditioning Disks Chrysler 4.7L, Cylinder Head Installation GM 4.6L, Head Bolt Thread Repair GM General, Close-Coupled Catalytic Converters Navistar 7.6 & 8.7L, Oil Pressure Relief Valve Caution Chrysler, 5.7 & 6.1L Main Bearing Installation Ford 2.0 & 2.3L, Crankshaft Pulley Replacement Caution

PHONE 888-326-2372 or 847-541-6550 FAX 888-329-2372 or 847-541-5808 EMAIL [email protected]

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We mentioned in December 2006 ShopTalk that 2007 would be an expansion year for AERA. In order for your AERA staff to accommodate this expansion, we needed to lean out a bit and increase our efficiencies at the same time. Since late 2003, AERA has been going through a slow reorganization all designed to support AERA programs and benefits going forward. For many who have visited headquarters recently, you will have noticed that we no longer have a receptionist, print shop, mail room, warehouse goods (and racks) or all three tech services and one IT personnel in-house. You may also have noticed a reduction in staff. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, all of this has happened and more. By competitively outsourcing our printing and mailing, were able to reduce staffing by two and improve costs and quality at the same time. For over a year now, off-site centralized receptionists serving several other companies have answered all incoming phone calls to AERA headquarters. This move to off-site call retrieval reduced staff by one additional and for the most part, improved our service to you. Still, we are not entirely happy and are taking steps to introduce direct phone line access to all AERA staff when you call in. Look for this to go active by end of February 2007. Some of you may be wondering about tech services not residing in headquarters. By the time you read this, tech services will have been operating in a home-office environment for nearly five months. Two techs work in home offices while one comes to headquarters. All three techs rotate their schedules every two weeks. This has allowed us to expand tech service hours from 7:00am to 6:00pm and keep them taking your calls even when stormy weather may ordinarily obstruct them from reaching headquarters. Few know this, but we also have one other home office staff member and that is Richard Rooks. Richard is our Technology Architect and has configured the AERA server and network so that all of what we do in tech services is possible. Further, Richard has full access to our computers and can effectively service our IT needs from his home in Orlando, Florida. I know more than a few of you have spoken with Richard about PRO-SIS or SMS problems only to have him access your computer and rectify these issues while you watch. This is something we could only dream of doing just five years ago. Today it is commonplace. One final reorganization effort is needed. As we drive for greater efficiency and productivity, the building we use for headquarters is about four times larger than we need. We have roughly 12,000 square feet of office and warehouse space. With only six employees now working in headquarters, we have no further need for a 5,000 square foot warehouse or 7,000 square feet of office space. A little more than 3,000 square feet will be ample for offices and other services still retained within AERA. To that end, AERA is selling the building we have called headquarters since 1987. It has been a great asset but by moving to a smaller building in a more favorable tax location, the association will benefit from further cost reductions. The move will not be far as suitable buildings are just 20 minutes from Buffalo Grove. The reality of home offices has helped us increase our site search flexibility, as we reduce the potential for negative impact due to increased travel time to headquarters. Change is always difficult but often necessary. We will keep you posted on how things are progressing. 2007 will be a busy year for all of us and I wish you good health and good fortune.






AERA is positioning itself as one of the top sites on the web when consumers are searching for engine related services. Because of this we are offering, to our members, the opportunity to participate in this venture. We firmly believe that by doing this we can drive more business to you.


First, you become part of the AERA Business Generation Network by getting your very own website with your business name as the URL (web address). For example, if your business name is "My Auto Shop" then your web address could be This will not only allow potential clients to find your shop but it also gives current clients a source of information and a list of services that you offer at their fingertips. Second, you will be in the database that will be used when potential clients are searching for specific services. Additionally, when registering you will decide which areas of service your shop should be listed for when a search is initiated. You can be listed under several engine related services or only specific areas, the choice is yours. Third, we have created some templates for you to choose from for your website. It will be designed specifically to your shops needs, even with real photos from your shop! To view the samples of the templates, visit the AERA website at and look for the Business Generation Network link in the left hand scrolling box.


AERA will provide the following for a minimal cost: · Construct your website: 4-5 webpages about your business, its services, photos, and much more · Provide a web presence for 1 year or longer · Register your domain name (URL address) · Provide updates to your website · You will get email addresses with YOUR business name in it (i.e. [email protected]) You get all of the above for a starting price of $600. A small yearly maintenance fee of $100 will be required to keep you part of the network, maintain your website and business email addresses. So, after the initial cost, that's less than $9 per month to have a website, business email addresses, AND a network helping to drive business directly to you!

Call AERA toll-free 888-326-2372 or email [email protected] to register today!




March 31 ASE Spring Test Registration Deadline

Go to for details



Carquest of Surprise Surprise, AZ Cali COLOMBIA Topeka, KS Hastings, MN Bridgewater, VA Castro Valley, CA San Pedro Sula HONDURAS Hialeah Garden, FL Guasave Sin MEXICO Pocatello, ID Fairport, NY Hamden, CT Conalc Distribuciones Cottrell Machine & Performance Diamond Edge Motorsports DRI Equipment Parts Ideal Cylinder Head Mecanizaciones Romero Motion Machine Shop Rectificaciones Universales Ron's Machine and Fabrication T W Automotive & Machine Wheelers Auto Machine

May 8, 10, 15 ASE Spring Testing

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June 17-19 REMATECH Show

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

July 11-13 PAACE Automechanika

Mexico City, Mexico

September 30 ASE Fall Test Registration Deadline

Go to for details

October 30 - November 1 AAPEX Show

Sands Expo Center Las Vegas, NV


Joseph Industries Inc Uni-Select Streetsboro, OH Memphis, TN

October 30 - November 2 SEMA Show

Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, NV


Confederation College Thunder Bay ON CANADA

November 8, 13, 15 ASE Fall Testing

Go to for details


Bruce Reau Steve Day Pioneer Inc. Absolute Automotive Machine

December 6-8 PRI Show

Orlando, FL


December 3, 2006


Active ....................... 2531 Associate .................... 285 Schools ....................... 124

TOTAL .... 2,940



What is it?

BY THE AERA TECH SUPPORT STAFF Pictured left to right: Steve Fox, Dave Hagen and Mike Caruso.


ntifreeze is a water-based liquid coolant used in most gasoline and diesel engines. Compounds are added to the water to reduce the freezing point of the mixture to below the lowest temperature that the engine is likely to be exposed to. The reason a vehicle requires antifreeze at all is for heat transfer. As an internal combustion engine runs, it generates heat. This heat must be removed. When engines of this type were first designed they utilized water to remove heat. This worked well until winter when the water would freeze and ruin the engine. Originally methanol was added to the water to protect from freezing. The problem with this was that the methanol would boil over in the summer. To solve this problem glycol was added to the water and antifreeze was born. Current products also provide a means to inhibit corrosion in cooling systems which often contain a range of electrochemically incompatible metals such as aluminum, cast iron, copper, lead solder, etc. The term `colligative agent' is to be preferred as, in warm climates, the benefit of these compounds is to increase the boiling




point of the coolant. They should then be more properly referred to as `anti-boil'. As anti-freeze decreases and increases both properties, respectively, `colligative agent' more accurately describes the liquid. The term `engine coolant' is widely used and accepted in automotive industry to relate to one's antifreeze. While different formulations of antifreeze are used in many liquids from windshield washer fluid to diesel fuel, its most commonly found use is in the cooling system of the millions of engines that are running daily. There are numerous combinations and formulas to choose from aftermarket suppliers.

cooling system. As the name implies the third main function of antifreeze is to protect the cooling system from freezing. The way to achieve maximum freeze protection differs between ethylene and propylene glycol. For ethylene glycol the maximum protection is at 67% ethylene glycol in water. An ethylene glycol solution of this concentration will freeze at 84° F (pure ethylene glycol freezes at 8° F). Propylene glycol does not freeze. It experiences a chemical phenomenon known as super cooling. For this reason there is no freezing point of pure PG. Due to the heat transfer and inhibitor activation reasons discussed above, PG antifreeze should also be maintained between 40% and 70% in water. Boil over protection with both glycols increases with glycol concentration.


For many years glycol based products have been used for freeze up, boil over and corrosion protection in most vehicles' cooling systems. The majority of antifreezes in use today are based on ethylene glycol (EG), but propylene glycol (PG) products are becoming more common. Regardless of glycol type, antifreeze serves three main functions in a vehicle. These functions are heat transfer, corrosion protection and freeze - boil protection. The question of heat transfer is not as simple as it might seem. The amount of heat a fluid can carry varies greatly from fluid to fluid. Water is an excellent conductor of heat. Glycols are not as good heat conductors as water. As the concentration of glycol increases, the heat transfer ability of the mixture decreases. This change in heat transfer is not a problem. During engine and cooling system design the heat transfer ability of the coolant is taken into effect. What is important is not using a fluid that is outside the cooling system design parameters. Modern engines are designed to run with a glycol - water blend between 40% and 60% glycol. Using a coolant outside these limits will cause the engine to run at the wrong temperature. This change sacrifices engine performance and leads to other problems. The second function of antifreeze is to protect the metals in a vehicle's cooling system from corrosion. Antifreeze is able to perform this function by the addition of inhibitors. Inhibitor types vary depending on the type of antifreeze. Inhibitors can be of many different forms including organic and inorganic chemicals. One thing that is common with all inhibitors is that they are designed to work in a water solution. The addition of water "activates" the inhibitors, allowing them to protect the metals. For this reason it is important to always mix antifreeze with water in a vehicle's

Regardless of antifreeze type, using a solution of antifreeze and water is important to realize the maximum benefits for heat transfer, corrosion and freezing protection.

As outlined above, antifreeze is an important component in any engine. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, maintaining the cooling system according to the manufacturer's recommendation is extremely important. Regardless of antifreeze type, using a solution of antifreeze and water is important to realize the maximum benefits for heat transfer, corrosion and freezing protection.


An important choice in the antifreeze industry today is between ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG) as the antifreeze base. For antifreeze formulations each glycol has supporters, although the best choice depends on the intended use. There are several considerations we make when choosing an antifreeze, the most important being performance. In the area of performance there is very little difference in EG and PG. Additives determine most performance criteria so all coolants supplied by a respectable manufacturer will perform well. The one major difference in EG and PG is toxicity. This article looks at this topic and presents facts for consideration. ®







Because the most persuasive reason to use PG instead of EG based antifreeze is toxicity, we should discuss a little about toxicity. The first thing to think about is the difference between acute and chronic toxicity. Acute toxicity refers to toxicity that has a short duration. If you survive poisoning with an acute toxin, there are usually no lasting effects. Chronic toxicity on the other hand is something that lasts a long time. When poisoned with a chronic toxin, symptoms may not appear for a long time and they may last indefinitely. PG differs from EG in both acute and chronic toxicity's. In antifreeze we are most concerned about one time accidental ingestion. Therefore, the most common interest is in acute toxicity. The acute toxicity of PG, especially in humans, is substantially lower than that of EG. Propylene glycol, like alcohol, is not toxic at low levels. In applications where ingestion is a possibility, PG based antifreeze is a prudent choice.

products consumers now have a choice in their antifreeze base. For applications where a chance of ingestion exists, the toxicity advantages of PG give it a clear advantage.


In many U.S. and Japanese antifreeze formulas, phosphate is added as a corrosion inhibitor. European vehicle manufacturers, however, recommend against the use of phosphate containing antifreeze. The following will examine the different positions on this issue to help judge the pros and cons on phosphate inhibitors. In the U.S. market, a phosphate inhibitor is included in many formulas to provide several important functions which help reduce automotive cooling system damage. The benefits provided by the phosphate include: I Protect aluminum engine components by reducing cavitation-corrosion during high speed driving. Provide for corrosion protection to ferrous metals. Act as a buffer to keep the antifreeze mixture alkaline. This prevents acid build-up that will damage or destroy metal engine parts.

There are several considerations we make when choosing an antifreeze, the most important being performance.

Another consideration is that all antifreezes pick up heavy metal contamination during service. When contaminated (particularly with lead) any used antifreeze can be considered hazardous. Because of metal contamination many people feel that the toxicity of used antifreeze is the same regardless of glycol. This is where we look at chronic toxicity. PG is not a chronic toxin. EG and heavy metals are chronic toxins. Heavy metals, on the other hand are not acute toxins at the levels found in used antifreeze. For this reason PG based antifreezes, such as Fleet Charge PG and SIERRA antifreeze, are much safer for people and pets in case of accidental ingestion even after use. An area that concerns many people is the impact a used product has on the environment. When discussing this topic we refer to the products biodegradability. The biodegradability of EG and PG are almost identical. Although due to the possibility of heavy metal contamination discussed above it is very important to properly dispose of used coolant, regardless of glycol type. Glycol is the main ingredient in all antifreezes. With the addition of propylene glycol based


European automobile/ truck producers feel that these benefits are achievable with inhibitors other than phosphate. Their main concerns with phosphate containing products are the potential for solids drop-out when mixed with hard water. Solids can collect on cooling system walls forming what is known as scale. This concern comes from the fact that European water is much harder than water in the U.S. Because phosphate "softens" water by forming solids of calcium or magnesium salts that can drop-out of solution, there is potential for cooling system blockage. The phosphate level in most U.S. and Japanese antifreeze formulas do not generate significant solids. Furthermore modern antifreeze formulations are designed to minimize the formation of scale. The small amount of solids formed presents no problem for cooling systems or to water pump seals. For now, most antifreeze manufacturers believe that phosphate will remain a primary ingredient for cooling system protection. Still, as a good corporate citizens, they continue research on other inhibitor types that will provide the same benefits without phosphates. To show this commitment, some offer




heavy-duty antifreeze that incorporates a phosphate free inhibitor package. It is a universal formula that passes both heavy-duty and automotive specifications. In most U.S. and Japanese vehicles, you can use either a phosphate free or phosphate containing antifreeze during the warranty period. However, phosphate containing antifreeze can void European OEM warranties. It is important to use the vehicle manufacturers recommended antifreeze in these vehicles during the warranty period to ensure complete coverage.

or destroy the wet sleeve liner. Because of this problem, heavy-duty coolants must contain a special nitrite inhibitor, extra defoamer and buffers. These compounds come in a separate SCA. In addition, the SCA introduces a scale inhibitor that prevents the formation of surface deposits in the cooling system. Surface deposits reduce heat transfer and increase boil over potential. In heavy-duty applications, maintaining a proper maintenance schedule for adding SCAs is equally important as adding the correct initial supplemental additive. Over time, inhibitors deplete and require replacement for proper protection. Generally maintenance SCA additions are every 200 service hours or 15,000 miles. Consult individual engine manufacturers for exact recommendations. The point at which to add a maintenance SCA is determined by test kits made available from the additive suppliers.


Standard engine coolants come in three main types, automobile, heavy-duty and universal. The main difference in these coolant types is the level of aluminum corrosion protection they provide. In conventional coolants the addition of silicates provides this protection. Antifreeze designed strictly for automotive use is high in silicate, while a strictly heavy-duty antifreeze contains low silicate. Universal antifreeze meets the needs of both automotive and heavy-duty applications. Universal formulations contain enough silicate to give proper aluminum protection, but keep the silicate level low enough for heavy-duty applications. Some antifreeze manufacturers incorporate universal formulations for all versions sold. When used in heavy-duty applications, universal formulations require the addition of supplemental coolant additives (SCAs). SCAs provide the increased protection required for heavy-duty engines.


Most recently, the antifreeze market experienced a major advancement, the development of the Extended Life Coolant (ELC). In this type of coolant organic acid salts replace traditional corrosion inhibitors. This new organic acid technology (OAT) represents several major improvements over "conventional" antifreeze technology. As with any new technology, introduction of this new type of antifreeze has caused some confusion. We will explore extended life coolants and go over some of the more common questions asked about this new technology. In all antifreezes the corrosion inhibitors comprise only a small portion of the total formulation. For this reason the main portion of extended life antifreeze is the same as conventional antifreeze. Conventional antifreezes use inorganic additives to achieve corrosion protection. These inhibitors include silicates, phosphates and borates. Extended Life antifreezes attain corrosion protection by the incorporation of organic acid salts. The main portion of all modern antifreezes is either ethylene or propylene glycol. Because the base of both types of antifreeze is the same, the heat transfer properties, freezing protection and boil over protection do not change when switching between conventional and extended life coolants. The major performance difference between extended life and conventional antifreeze is the lifespan of the product. Conventional antifreeze lasts only two or three years due to depletion of the antifreeze corrosion inhibitors. Because the

Universal formulations contain enough silicate to give proper aluminum protection, but keep the silicate level low enough for heavy-duty applications.

To improve heat transfer and aid in serviceability, many heavy-duty engines incorporate wet sleeve liners. Under the extreme stress of heavyduty engine operation these liners vibrate. This vibration creates air bubbles that implode against the liners' outer surface. This action, called cavitation, quickly causes pitting that can damage




corrosion inhibitors are different, automobile extended life antifreezes last five years or 150,000 miles. Heavy-duty extended life antifreezes last between 400,000 and 600,000 miles with the use of a one time extender. Because the chemistry is different in conventional coolant and ELC, it is not advisable to mix the two products. Although the antifreezes are compatible, the inhibitors do not work together. Topping off ELC with conventional coolant dilutes the corrosion inhibitors in the ELC, reducing the usable life of the coolant to that of conventional antifreeze. Likewise, topping off conventional coolant with ELC does not impart extended life characteristics to the conventional coolant. In an emergency situation, when extended life antifreeze is not available it is advisable to top off with water to hold you over until you get more ELC. When switching between a conventional coolant and an ELC it is a good idea to flush the old coolant from the vehicle before filling with the new coolant. As mentioned above compatibility between the coolant types is not a problem, but the more old coolant left in the system, the less extended life properties the new coolant will have. I

If you found this information useful or if you have other topics of interest for TechSide, please let us know by calling the AERA Technical Department direct at 1-888-324-2372.


WITH MIKE CARUSO SUBJECT Dyno testing of performance parts before and after dyno pulls. Back-toback dyno tests and not just to get the highest peak number to sell parts. INFORMATION Richard supplies information in a "real world" format -- what works and what does not work. You do not have to waste your money or time trying to figure out what to use. Covering all three of the Ford Modular V8 cylinder head combinations with 2, 3, and 4 valves, the following were tested: throttle bodies, air inlet elbows, intake manifolds, cylinder heads and camshafts, headers and exhaust systems, centrifugal, roots and twinscrew blowers, turbochargers and nitrous oxide. With 340 photos and 185 back-to-back dyno graphs, you cannot ask for anything more. MY SUGGESTION Buy the book and read it to decide what horsepower increase you are looking for and at what RPM range. This way you supply the customer with a known working combination and they get their money's worth. Build one good-running Ford and the other Ford guys will find out and they will beat a path to your machine shop's front door. Richard Holdener is not new to Fords and he is not just an author. I worked with him way back in 1990-92 when he had a 5.0L Mustang, supercharged of course, and had a chance to run his car around the Texas Motor Speedway. Like Richard says, having too much torque and horsepower is just right. I could not agree more.



Building 4.6/5.4L Ford Horsepower on the Dyno


Richard Holdener






5+++ wrenches





Need caption here for this photo. Need caption here for this photo. Need caption here for this photo.


Rectificadora y Refacciones Santa Rosa SA de CV


i Team! Have you ever wondered what kind of shops and members we have south of our border? Have you wondered what type of equipment and what type of work they perform? And have you ever wondered how they communicate with us at headquarters? Well, we would like you to meet a great AERA team member named Ramon Luna. His shop name is listed above and in English this means he is an engine rebuilder and engine parts sales company. First of all, I would like to tell you why we think Ramon is a great AERA team member. Each and every month, Ramon very graciously helps us translate our Technical Bulletins and Engine Spec Sheets into Spanish. Yolanda Carranza, our only in-house Spanish speaking member, works very

Feel free to contact me: phone 507-457-0755 [email protected]




closely with Ramon to make sure our translations are correct. It's a great system to ensure that our translation is as accurate as possible. Ramon began his business back in 1975 with a small shop that had Black & Decker valve and valve seat grinders, a Kwik-Way boring bar and one light-duty truck for delivery. Then, within five years, Ramon purchased a resurfacing machine, newer valve and valve seat grinding equipment and a crankshaft grinder. With one assistant and one driver, Ramon was the crankshaft grinder operator, cylinder head department operator, cylinder bore department operator, salesman and office boy. Working 15 hours per day didn't leave him much time to relax. His business later grew to 35 employees. However, Mexico (much like the United States market) saw greater competition for rebuilt engines. Tougher governmental and environmental controls, increased new car sales with better financing and a general down turn in the demand for rebuilt engines forced Ramon to regroup to what he is today.

Each and every month, Ramon Luna helps AERA translate Technical Bulletins and Engine Spec Sheets into Spanish.

now employs 15 people in the shop and two office personnel. His business is growing in the cylinder head area, but he says it is still very competitive. Primarily they rebuild automotive gas and lightduty diesel engines. They do not perform highperformance work. Ramon is very proud of his employees and their ability to learn new methods of automotive machining. The information, the quality of workmanship and the service his parts department offers are key to his success. He feels he is preparing for the future to the best of his ability and sees himself as a survivor.I

Ramon and his employees stand outside his shop in Mexico City. He also has shops in Zaragoza and Coacalco City, Mexico.

Need caption here for this photo.

Today, Ramon operates three shops in Mexico. One on the north side of Mexico City, one north of Pueblo State in the City of Zaragoza and the third shop is located in Coacalco City, Estado De Mexico. His equipment list is very much similar to a shop in the United States. Ramon has Serdi, Kwik-Way, Sunnen, Zanrosso, Peterson, Sioux, Storm Vulcan, Winona Van Norman, Rottler and Seest crankshaft grinding equipment. He has a good parts business that operates with his shop and







NEW SIZE 5/8" x 1-3/4"



Highly accurate, dependable, and cost-effective, AERA irreversible temperature recorder labels are extremely easy to read and use. Labels feature five temperature-marked windows which will record temperatures from 190° to 270°F (88° to 132°C). As temperatures outside of the specified range occur, the indicator changes from white to red. This distinct color change, from white to red, allows the user to see quickly that the workpiece has been outside of the allowable temperature range. Each label has a self-adhesive backing and can be placed on cylinder heads, engine blocks or on any workpiece ­ when temperature maintenance is critical. Temperature Recorder Labels Item # 10730100 $97.00 (100 qty.)

Call toll-free 888-326-2372 to order -- free shipping within the continental U.S.

Serving Engine Builders, Rebuilders and Installers

3 3 0 L E X I N GTO N D R I V E , B U F FA LO G R OV E I L 6 0 0 8 9 - 6 9 9 8 · P H O N E 8 8 8 - 3 2 6 - 2 3 7 2 o r 8 4 7 - 5 4 1 - 6 5 5 0 FAX 888-329-2372 or 847-541-5808 · EMAIL [email protected] · WEBSITE





Tired of poor customer service? Get personalized customer service when you call Siriani & Associates, administrators of the AERA Freight Savings Plan. Siriani & Associates has over 20 years experience working with associations to provide comprehensive freight programs together with outstanding customer service. The customer service representatives can help you decide which carrier to use, which service option suits your needs and how to get the best price. These services are free to AERA members!


Whether you need to ship documents, small packages, less-than-truckload shipments or international shipments, there are several things you should consider: service, dependability and of course, price. The freight program carriers offer a broad range of transportation services including day-definite ground shipping and time-definite, global express shipping services. For less-than-truckload shipments, the program offers regional, interregional and coast-to-coast shipping solutions and special AERA rates are available on international shipping. Reliability is paramount. You want to know that your shipment will arrive safely and on time. That's why the AERA Freight Savings Plan uses carriers that you can rely on. They all have easy-to-use technology that can give you shipment visibility and peace of mind. With up to 65 percent discount on LTL shipments and up to 24 percent savings on small package shipments, the AERA Freight Savings Plan offers great prices as well as great service.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Siriani & Associates at 800-554-0005




2007 Ward's Auto releases annual 10 Best Engines list

It's the beginning of December, and that means it's time once again for Ward's Auto to release its 10 Best Engines list. The winners for 2007 ­ the 13th year for the awards ­ are as follows: · · · · · · · · · · Audi AG 2L turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Audi A3) BMW AG 3L DOHC I-6 (Z4 3.0si) BMW AG 3L turbocharged DOHC I-6 (335i) DaimlerChrysler AG 3L DOHC V-6 turbo diesel (Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec/Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD) DaimlerChrysler AG Hemi 5.7L OHV V-8 (Chrysler 300C) Ford Motor Co. Duratec 35 3.5L DOHC V-6 (Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX) Ford Motor Co. 4.6L SOHC V-8 (Mustang GT/Mustang Shelby GT) Mazda Motor Corp. 2.3L DISI turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mazdaspeed3) Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. 3.5L DOHC V-6 (Infiniti G35) Toyota Motor Corp. 3.5L DOHC V-6 (Lexus IS 350)

Three of these ­ the pressurized Bimmer straight-six, Ford's Duratec, and the DaimlerChrysler turbo diesel - appear for the first time. Displaced from last year's list are GM's turbocharged Ecotec I-4 and HV V6, and Audi's V8 missed the cut as well. Nissan's VQ35 (above) makes its 13th appearance, and maintains its status as the only engine to appear on the list every year since the inception. Anyone familiar with this author's preferences will of course know that the lack of any of GM's GenIV pushrod V8s is slightly upsetting, and once again all of the heavy-duty light-truck diesels got snubbed as well. Ford's supercharged 5.4L would, in our opinion, be a shoe-in based upon the big bruiser's industry-leading HP-per-dollar ratio. And on the other end of the practicality spectrum, where are the fuel-sipping engines? These are minor gripes, though; Ward's put together a solid list of engines that most anyone would certainly be happy to thrash.

[Source: Ward's Auto]




The Daily Grind

Don't Get Your Short (Blocks) in a Knot



eke pulled a greasy chair up to the cluttered lunch table and glanced over a fellow employee, who was deeply engrossed in a personal project of significant proportions. "Easy there, Honer," he warned. "Without the right prep work, you'll have nothing but trouble."

Honer carefully folded another slice of salami and laid it gently on his growing stack of meats, cheeses, and thinly sliced vegetables. "Relax, my friend; I've been building these things for years." He turned and reached for some ham. "I think I know what I'm doing." "I dunno," said Kibbles, as he stuffed some more pizza into his mouth. "I've seen this happen before, and it ain't pretty." ®




I sighed and looked into my own brown bag. Here I was snacking on crawly chicken from the local deli's nuke and nibble section, and my guys were arguing about how to build a Dagwood sandwich. You think they'd show some respect for their poorly-fed employer. Speaking of which, my name is Rod Conley, and I'm the owner of The Daily Grind, a local custom automotive machine shop. My crew consists of machinists Deke Narley, Honer Weston, and our `grinder-to-be', young Kibbles Bates. But enough with the introductions; right now it was lunchtime and I was thinking burgers instead of engine blocks. "Hey, Honer," I said, "I like the way your sandwich looks. Can we trade?"

state, Honer's sandwich still looked better than my humble fare. To get my mind off lunch, I brought up the other main topic of our lunchtime conversations; work. "How's that boring job coming along, Deke?" He jerked his thumb in Kibbles' direction. "Ask Junior; I'm still waiting for the bake and blast to be finished." "I'm almost done," protested our apprentice, whose job it was to disassemble and clean the engines before the machining could begin. "I might be new at this," he said, puffing up his chest, "but I take great pride in my work." Deke grunted. "Pride's one thing; being a neat freak is another." "Calm down," I said. "What I want to know is, are you going to use a torque plate on this job like our customer requested?" Deke's mouth dropped open. "On an early 70's Ford 390? Are you kidding me, Rod? Give me a break! We're talking vintage iron here, not some short-skirted V6 like those awful 4.3 Vortec things that GM dumped on us." I shook my head. "All the same, I think you should look into it. It seems to me I read something recently about torque plating other Ford engines, like the 5.0 liter block." Honer had just finished cleaning up his mealtime mess. "He's got a point, Deke. I was on the forums and heard about a machine shop down in San Diego that had to build special torque plates just to properly surface the valve seats on a 1996 Ferrari F355." Kibbles' eyes lit up ­ he likes to follow the fancy stuff. "Say, aren't those the 375-horsepower 3.5liter V8's, with five valves per cylinder? Talk about crowded working conditions!" Honer put some change into the candy bar machine. "Apparently the shop uses the latest machining equipment, and did a full leakage test report on the head. Everything was fine until the installation shop did a cylinder leakage test on the reassembled engine. All of a sudden one bank was losing between 8 to 20%!" "Let me guess," I said. "The numbers improved once they loosened off the head bolts." "Of course they did!" broke in Deke. "But you're talking some pretty exotic engines here. As far as I'm concerned, torque plates are for the some of the new stuff, or maybe something like a NASCAR engine. Those crazy guys will even bolt on the engine mounts and bell housings before they

Speaking of which, my name is Rod Conley, and I'm the owner of The Daily Grind, a local custom automotive machine shop. My crew consists of machinists Deke Narley, Honer Weston, and our ` grinder-to-be', young Kibbles Bates.

Our meticulous mentor shook his head and placed six black olives in precise locations around the perimeter. "Sorry, boss, but this work of art deserves a true connoisseur." He straightened up and patted his bulging waistline. "No offense, but that would be me." Satisfied, Honer placed the final slice of rye bread on the top and picked up his creation with both hands. It took only a nanosecond for the entire contents to skooch out and land facedown on the floor, mayonnaise first. Honer was in shock. "Wa...what happened? I've built hundreds of these before!" "Told ya," chuckled Deke. "It's that olives-andmayo combo; we're talking greased ball bearing action every time!" Reluctantly, I put my chicken in the microwave and gave it some air time. Even in its current sad




do the final hone." He pulled a banana from his box. "But we're talking `bout a Ford 390 here. This ain't rocket science!" "Don't bet on it," said Honer. "You might be surprised what will happen when Slim and his boys bolt that engine together once they get it back." The short block in question had come from Slim Shambles Auto Repair, one of our regular customers who sent us their machining work. Kibbles looked confused. "What are they doin' wrong?" he asked. "I thought those guys were pretty thorough." "They are. It's what we'd be doing wrong, if we don't take the extra time and expense to do the rebuild job right." Cylinder deflection had become a real problem in recent years with the combination of lighter castings, shorter piston skirts, and high torque values. Our usual first step in any rebuild was to consult our PRO-SIS database, not only to tell us the common failure areas to watch for in a particular engine, but to find out if extra prep work was required, including things like torque plate honing. Deke put away his lunch kit and grumbled his way out to the shop. "A lot of extra work for nothin', if you ask me!" None the less, he sat down at the shop computer and began to canvas the machine shop and engine rebuilding forums to see what he could find on the Ford 390. In the end, it paid off. "You won't believe this," he said later, "but the Ford boys at Dove Manufacturing in the States claim that their dyno tests on the 390 engines show a 40 horsepower gain from simply doing the final honing process with a torque plate bolted to the block." He looked up in amazement. "There you go," I said, slapping him on the back. "Doing a little prep work ­ even if it's just some reading ­ is worth the extra trouble." We headed for the coffee room, only to find Honer already in there, working on his midafternoon snack. "Hey, what's with all the toothpicks?" We stared at his nearly-completed, multi-layered creation. The whole thing was held together with toothpicks, to the point where it looked like a miniature forest on a mountain of food. Honer straightened up and grinned. "Just a little extra prep work, you might say." He rubbed his growling stomach. "There's no way I'm going to be cheated out of two of these babies in one day!"I


Rick Cogbill is a freelance writer and humor columnist with over 25 years experience in the automotive repair trade. He holds a Canadian Interprovincial License as a Journeyman Automotive Technician, is licensed as a Vehicle Inspector, and has also been certified in Automotive Air Conditioning Repair and Propane Conversions. Drawing on his own experiences as a shop owner and technician, Rick began writing The Car Side, a humor column for automotive trade magazines, back in 1998. Since then, Slim Shambles and the crew at Slim Shambles Auto Repair have become favorites across North America with technicians and auto enthusiasts alike. Rick has traveled widely, including a two-year stint as a mechanic in Kenya, East Africa during the mid1980s. He will gladly accept speaking engagements from anyone waving a free airline ticket and hotel voucher, especially if the destination includes a warm climate. His interests outside the automotive field include wild guitar playing and the closelyrelated field of entrepreneurship. After selling his shop in 2000, he created, operated and sold an RV rental company, dabbled in housing construction, served three years on the local city council, ran and lost a really cool mayoral campaign, and currently operates Cogbill Management Services Ltd., where he consults on building projects and property development. A Contributing Editor to Canadian Technician Magazine, Rick and his family reside in the Okanagan Valley of Southern British Columbia, Canada. He can be contacted through his website at





2007 promises to be an expansion year for AERA. Your Board of Directors has replaced the annual trade show with more intimate regional conferences. There will be technical presentations and unique shop skills instruction offered to all who attend. Plans are still in the process of being finalized, so keep a sharp eye in ShopTalk for scheduling information and a location nearest you.

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