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Q: I store my collector car during the winter months. Is there anything special that I need to do to protect the engine?
A: Before you put the car away, change the oil and use a fogging oil, through the intake. The fogging oil will prevent rusting of the cylinder bore and the valves. When a car is being stored the fluctuation in temperature creates condensation which can cause rusting of components, especially open valves.
Q: Can I use this new long life Dex-Cool coolant in my older engine?
A: You can use it but keep these points in mind. Dex-Cool does not “milkshake” like regular green coolant should there be a breach of the head gasket. It can be difficult to determine if a head gasket has failed. As such you may experience engine bearing failure due to coolant contamination of the oil. In order for Dex-Cool to last the advertised 5 years it is critical to flush out all old coolant in the engine and heater core, the two coolants do not mix!
Q: Which is better a seasoned engine block or a new engine block?
A: A new engine block will change shape after a number of uses causing slight misalignment and warping problems. A used or seasoned block has already made its moves, re machining corrects any imperfections and the block stays put. Most of the street motors that we build use good seasoned engine blocks.
Q: I am contemplating a new engine for my muscle car. What are the benefits of a crate engine vs. a custom built engine?
A: A performance crate engine is a production engine. Is is built using the same methodology as any other production engine. Some of the components that go into a crate engine are regular production pieces that are not balanced or blueprinted. Most crate engines use a single cam profile and are designed to run at a specific rpm range, which may or may not be best for your vehicle. With a custom built engine all if its specifications can be tailored to the specific need. Things like compression ratio, cam timing, induction, exhaust and ignition can all be tailored to suit the needs of the car. In many cases it can be cheaper to have a custom engine built and it will last just as long or even longer than a production engine.
Q: The engine block in my numbers matching Corvette has been damaged. Is there anything you can do to repair it?
A: Yes. We have repaired a number of engine blocks from antique Duesenbergs to vintage muscle cars. Give is a call or send us an email, we would be happy to discuss repair options with you.
Q: When do you use a cast piston versus a forged piston?
A: We use cast or hypereutectic piston in most of the stock rebuilds that we do. When it comes to a performance engine we use a forged piston if possible. If an engine is going to see high rpm use, forced induction, nitrous oxide or any type of competition we recommend the use of a forged piston.
Q: When does an engine need to be balanced?
A: There are two basic occasions when an engine balance would be required. If there is a complaint of a vibration in the engine, it would need to be balanced to eliminate that vibration. When an engine is rebuilt if any of the internal components are changed beyond what the original manufacturer installed than the motor should be balanced. Changing from a cast piston to a forged piston is an example of a case where an engine should be balanced.
Q: What is the highest compression ratio that I can run my engine at on the street?
A: For an iron cylinder head engine we usually recommend 10:1 as the maximum, for an aluminum cylinder head 11:1 is usually safe. We have built engines with 12:1 + compression ratios that have run well on pump gas.
Q: I recently had my engine rebuilt and the freeze plugs rotted out of the engine, what would have caused this?
A: We have seen cases where upon reinstallation of the engine the grounding straps were not properly reinstalled. Without proper grounding, the engine develops an electric current which causes an electrolysis to take place. This reaction will deteriorate weaker metals, such as freeze plugs. Wherever possible we try to use a brass freeze plug and make sure that when an engine is reinstalled that all the ground points are restored.
Q: Are there any common problems that you see in regular passenger car production engines at this time?
A: In a number of engines that use a plastic or composite intake manifold gasket, we are seeing gasket breach problems. This failure of the intake gaskets is allowing these motors to consume coolant which can contaminate the engine oil and ruin the engine.