We have been manufacturing automotive, diesel, light truck and marine engines since 1972. It is extremely important to have well trained machinist and up to date equipment when manufacturing today's engines. It is now common for us to manufacture an engine with two camshafts, sixteen valves with finishes unheard of five years ago. With today's high performance engines demanding clearances of .002, experienced machinist with constant training and continual upgrading of equipment is essential.
It takes a great deal of continual capital investment and commitment to maintain and up grade the equipment required to meet the critical specifications of today's engines. Two years ago a finish of .028 RA (scratches verse area) similar to smooth sand paper was the standard finish for the deck surface on cylinder heads, today with the new head gaskets designed for high compression and unleaded fuel a finish of .008 (glass finish) is required. The milling equipment of just three years ago is not capable of meeting today's requirements, and that's just for the cylinder head finish, new finishes are required for the cylinder walls, valve guides, (both of these require diamond hones) crankshafts journals, thrust surfaces, just to mention a few. And of course none of the new equipment is going to do anything if a qualified machinist is not present to run it. Many of our machinists have been with us since 1972 and fifteen years experience is the norm.
Even with the best equipment and experienced machinists it's possible to build an inferior engine, all you have to do is buy inferior parts. All engine remanufactures depend on suppliers for pistons, pistons rings, engine bearings, valves, etc. and if the engine builder is price conscious and buys cheep parts or worse yet, uses some parts from an old engine (it happens), the best machining in the world won't help. There are a lot of cheep parts suppliers out there and there are a lot of engine rebuilders who use them. The best way to shop for an engine is to make sure the builder clearly states he uses parts that are original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts or equivalent. By equivalent I mean the parts supplier designs and manufactures parts for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, etc. and also sells to engine rebuilders. An inferior parts supplier does not meet OEM specifications.
Even with the best equipment and parts all our engines are tested on a Sim-test run in stand before shipping to insure quality is maintained, testing oil pressure, oil flow, torque, friction, and vacuum testing the casting one last time for integrity.
As I stated earlier, we have been manufacturing automotive, truck, diesel and marine engines since 1972 and believe me I have seen a lot of changes made since then. We started out building five engines a month; today we are building five hundred a month. We could build more, however it is not our policy to build the most possible, we want to build the best. Quantity is not Quality; we will continue to build what I consider the best engine on the market and in order to do that, maintaining control of production is paramount.
If I could build a better engine, I would.
Jeffery L. Johnson|