Two ball-peen hammers and one hard surface:  How to make oil pans, transmission and hydraulic pans leak proof

Two ball-peen hammers and one hard surface: How to make oil pans, transmission and hydraulic pans leak proof

New Jersey native Ray Bohacz is a respected engine builder. Though he relished the challenge of preparing race-winning engines, his earliest memories were linked to farming and its many aspects—particularly its mechanics. Recently he has combined these interests by demonstrating the value of short, technical trouble-solving videos. No doubt most of us have encountered leaking oil pans, even with new gaskets installed. Here’s the...
Rebirth of the 8.1L Vortec and advancement of Merlin IV

Rebirth of the 8.1L Vortec and advancement of Merlin IV

By Titus Bloom:   Raise questions about the prospects of GM’s 8.1 liter V8 Vortec engine block and you will quickly learn that currently there is no direct-replacement block available. The engine has been extinct since 2010. But at the 2016 PRI show held in Indianapolis in December, World Products’ technical director, Dick Boyer, announced they were in the process of creating a new cast-iron block to be available by July 2017. On first acquaintance you might think the new 8.1 liter unit would be welcomed mostly by owners of commercial trucks, motorhomes, marine and industrial applications. But for the racing community, its loss was arguably more severely felt for it was an effective power unit for many towing vehicles. Endowed with vital OEM provisions, the new engine block will feature exact mounting positions for the stock crank sensor, block-style oil filter and oil cooler as well as stock-style accessory mounts. “Without provision for the stock crank sensor,” says Boyer, “the engine cannot operate with a stock computer or stock fuel injection.” In order for the new block to reach the unimpaired OEM specification, significant investment was necessary, mainly in acquiring access to complete foundry tooling. As anticipated, this is expensive—as other aspiring engine producers discovered when trying to establish a crank position sensor in the stock location of a GM Mark IV-style big-block. But Boyer made the calculations work because he integrated the new foundry tooling for the production of the 8.1 with a new Merlin IV block. Merlin IV for big-block Chevrolets The upgrading objectives for the Merlin IV introduced thicker material around the main webs, camshaft...
LS, Coyote & Chrysler: Remedy for stubborn harmonic damper removal

LS, Coyote & Chrysler: Remedy for stubborn harmonic damper removal

By Archie Bosman: Those familiar with LS engines will often tell you the most frustrating part in the dismantling process is the removal of the harmonic damper. For some, the process consumes hours. A slow taper is a mighty effective method for locking two components. Medium-duty pullers are apt to break the foot off one leg and pry bars won’t provide an even pull and usually damage the damper rather than remove it. Inconveniently, many modern dampers are not equipped with tapped holes to assist in the removal process. But a new patented tool, the GGT-180 from G & G Technics overcomes the impediments. Yet, its significance extends beyond quick removal, for this tool is also compact and easy to use. In fact, so modest in size it operates with the radiator in situ. Obviously, this saves draining the coolant, the removal of the radiator and the setting aside of the coolant, to say nothing of the time taken to replace everything. Instead, you simply remove the fan assembly, the drive belt and the harmonic-damper retaining bolt and washer. By engaging the puller’s three tangs behind the spokes of the damper—no bolts required—and tightening the jacking screw, the damper is swiftly freed from its bond with the crankshaft. Notably, the M-16 threaded jacking screw is made from 8.8-grade high tensile steel and is operated by a 24mm socket. The screw rotates within the thrust bearing; its main purpose is to protect the end of the crank. The body of the puller is formed from an investment casting of high-tensile steel and hardened and tempered. Before use, the manufacturer, G...
Seeking permanent end to exhaust gasket leaks?

Seeking permanent end to exhaust gasket leaks?

By Freddie Heaney:   How do you compete on the national stage—how do you rise from obscurity if you don’t advertise? Engine builders do it by word of mouth but for small manufacturers the process is more daunting: expensive and often hit-and-miss if not executed with some skill. In an attempt to survive these hazards, Remflex, the graphite exhaust gasket firm, applied to SEMA for the chance to make an appearance at last week’s MPMC conference and got lucky in their annual draw. In thickness, Remflex exhaust gaskets measure approximately 1/8-inch and compress by 50 percent when tightened between two surfaces. In so doing they fill leaky gaps in slightly warped or pitted flanges. Operational up to 3,000-degrees Fahrenheit, Remflex claims the flexible graphite, which is bonded to both sides of a thin stainless steel mesh core, has swelling properties that eliminate the need to re-torque. Guaranteed for six months, longer bolts are unnecessary. However, the three chief things to remember are, first, do not over-tighten them. Suggested torque ratings are listed on the box. Second, hold the gaskets properly. Though they are designed to withstand intensive clamping forces, do not bend them. If you do they’ll break. Lastly, don’t use sealers because they will rapidly burn and disappear, introducing an exhaust leak. Five hundred part numbers now available, the cost of a small-block Chevrolet gasket kit is $34.99   MPMC Background Each January, the MPMC introduces one hundred manufacturers to approximately three hundred members of the media. The customary venue is the Embassy Suites hotel in Orange County, California not far from John Wayne Airport. The manufacturers set...
2021: Vested interests, emerging technologies and the dangers of ignoring change

2021: Vested interests, emerging technologies and the dangers of ignoring change

Bertie S. Brown:   At a lunch table at last week’s MPMC conference, Cam Benty joined a seated media group. “In just four years’ time.” he said, “there’s a likelihood you’ll hardly recognize our automotive scene.” Benty, the editorial director of the magazine Power & Performance who was attending the SEMA event held each January in Los Angeles where 100 manufacturers meet the media, was referring to news from the VW Group who had recently formed a car/minibus company called Moia. An ancient name from the vast south Asian country India—Moia means magic and its aim is to exploit the many alluring opportunities in the emerging autonomous (no driver required) vehicle markets. As today with Uber, you will use your app to summon a vehicle. The purpose of Moia’s electric minibuses is to provide a service similar to taxi convenience for little more than a bus fare. They will shuttle about the major cities, pooling common journeys wherever possible to reduce emissions, congestion and cost. The trick in business is staying in business and developing a new concept—in this case ‘smart electric taxis’ that carry up to eight people—seems a fairly safe bet, especially useful for those who live in large towns and cities. Though the technology is near, the bigger hurdle will be gaining the approval of city authorities with extensive public transport networks already in place. Persuading governments to enact the required legislation is usually arduous. But the pace of change has never been suppressed for long. Last month while visiting the Auto Sport International show in England (originally the Racing Car Show), an Uber driver told...