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ENGINE INSTALLATION

Engine Installation: Before You Transfer

Once you pull the parts from the old engine, they Must be cleaned thourghougly, especially if you ever buy any cheap engines on the marketplace. The oil pan, valve covers, intake and any other part that will be reused must be completely clean before installing it on the new engine. In general, this will involve several steps, including:

  • Remove the part from the old engine.
  • A visual inspection of the old part – Look for grime and carbon buildup, as well as gasket material and any damage to the part that might compromise performance on the new engine.
  • Thorough cleaning of the old part – Parts like the oil pan, intake and valve covers should be soaked in a chemical bath to loosen and remove dirt, grime and carbon, and then thoroughly cleaned with high pressure water, followed by air to dry it and remove any remaining dirt.
  • Another visual inspection of the donor part. Check for any material that was not removed during the cleaning process. If any material remains, remove it and re-inspect.
  • Install the donor part on the new engine. Make sure you do not reuse gaskets. Only new gaskets should be used on the replacement engine. If caulk or silicone must be used, ensure that it is automotive engine grade.

After Your Transfer

Once you’ve installed the new parts and everything is good and tight, it’s tempting to think that your job is done. It’s not, and if you walk away from it now, you could cause serious damage to the engine or create a problem that the customer will have to deal with down the line.

We’re talking about double-checking your work here, and that’s easier to do on a part-by-part basis. For instance, once you’ve installed the oil pan and the oil pan gasket, you’ll tighten the bolts that secure the pan to the engine. You’ll then torque the bolts to their specified setting. Don’t stop there, though. Once you’re “done”, go back and double-check/re-torque all the bolts one more time. Often, you’ll find that one or two isn’t as snug as it should be.

You might also consider going back over all the donor parts after you’ve run the engine for the first time and everything’s heated up to normal operating temperature. Metal expands with heat, and any bolts that aren’t as tight as they should be will show up now. Even if it means triple checking your work, going back over everything one final time is highly recommended after any engine installation.

5.4L Ford Engine Problems

Common Problems with the Ford 5.4L Engine – What Every Owner Needs to Know

AUGUST 15, 2016 by POWERTRAIN PRO

The engine is the heart of every vehicle, and it’s the most expensive component to repair or overhaul. It does not matter what kind of vehicle you own or how you use it – the quality of the engine will play a major role in your overall satisfaction and your total repair costs.

The Ford 5.4-liter engine has been one of the most popular powertrains for more than a decade now, and over the years it has proven to be both reliable and fuel efficient. Even so, this engine’s owners have identified some common problems, and it is important to be on the lookout for the early warning signs.

The sooner you catch a problem with the Ford 5.4-liter engine, or any other one for that matter, the less costly the eventual repairs can be. Here’s what you need to know:

Fuel Pump Failure:

The fuel pump has a vital role to play, and unfortunately it has been a weak spot in 5.4-liter Ford engines thus far. More specifically, it is the fuel pump driver module that has been such a big issue. Over time, the fuel pump driver module can corrode, essentially eating a hole through its aluminum housing. Once the housing has become compromised and the delicate electronics have been exposed, it is just a matter of time before the fuel pump driver module fails.

Keeping a close eye on this driver module and watching for signs of corrosion is the best defense. You want to repair or replace the module at the first sign of corrosion, before the electronics are exposed and subsequently damaged.

Other Common Issues:

There have also been reported problems with the timing chain and tensioners as well as issues with the variable valve timing. If they go undetected, these problems can lead to the premature failure of the entire engine, or at least a big repair bill.

Unfortunately, problems with the tensioners, timing chain and other systems are not always readily apparent. The best defense is to have these items checked at least once a year by a mechanic who has experience with the Ford 5.4-liter engine. Premature wear on the timing chain, variable valve timing and tensioners can be subtle, and that is why working with an experienced Ford mechanic is so important.

Replacing Your Engine:

Should your engine fail, it’s important to be informed about your options for replacement. Many people do not realize that it is actually very cost effective to purchase a replacement engine and/or transmission and have it installed by a reputable local mechanic. At Eagle Engine Sales , we offer a variety of powertrain replacement parts to fit every possible budget:

GETTING YOUR BOAT READY FOR SPRING

Spring has sprung and for millions of boaters in the U.S. that means it’s time to take their boats out of winter storage and put them in the water. For many boaters, annual preparation and cleaning projects are necessary rites of spring that help prevent problems that could keep them off the water once the season is underway.

Fuel System

  • Inspect the fuel system for leaks or damage and be sure to pay special attention to fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces.
  • Evidence of a damaged fuel hose includes softness, brittleness or cracking.
  • Replace components when necessary and verify all fittings and clamps are properly secured.
  • Ensure the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are all functioning properly.
  • Look before you pump. Don’t fill your tank with fuel that contains more than 10% ethanol (E10) as it will damage your engine

Belts, Cables & Hoses

  • Check belts, cables and hoses because they can become brittle and may crack during winter storage.
  • Belts should fit tightly around pulleys to prevent slipping.
  • A worn belt may leave a black residue near the pulley and will fit loosely.
  • Cracks or swells on the outer jacket of throttle, shift and steering control cables may be of internal corrosion and immanent failure

Electric System

  • Inspect all electrical connections for clean, tight, corrosion free connections. Corroded connections can be dangerous
  • Remove corroded terminals and use a wire brush to clean them, along with all cable ends.
  • Charge your battery and have it tested to ensure it can hold a charge.
  • Electrical systems should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.

Fluid Levels

  • Check all fluid levels including engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs and coolant.
  • Be sure to change the engine oil, oil filter and drive lubricants if these tasks were not done prior to winterizing your boat.

Propellers & Hulls

  • Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion.
  • Damaged propellers can cause unwanted vibration and damage to your drive train.
  • Make sure the propeller is secured properly, and replace bearings when needed.
  • When inspecting the hull, look for blisters, distortions and cracks. Be sure to clean the hull, deck, and topsides using an environmentally safe cleaning solution.
  • Also, make sure the drain plug is securely in place before every launch.

Safety Gear

  • Check your life jackets to ensure they are in good condition and that there are enough on board for all potential passengers.
  • Ensure that each individual has the correct size life jacket for their body weight.
  • Be sure all onboard fire extinguishers are the correct class for your vessel, and are fully charged and stowed in the proper place.
  • For any enclosed or semi-enclosed area, ensure you have at least one properly installed and working carbon monoxide detector
  • Consider an EPIRB for situations of distress to ensure you can be found
  • Take advantage of any safety inspections offered by the US Coast Guard (USCG), USCG Auxiliary or US Power Squadrons.

Get the new boating year off to a great start. Ensure you’ll enjoy another season of carefree boating and make your annual boat preparation more manageable.

REPLACEMENT ENGINE TERMINOLOGY.... WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

 

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 By POWERTRAIN PRO

Your car is only as reliable as the engine that powers it (and the transmission, of course). If you’ve been sidelined with a damaged engine, replacing it is the only way to get back on the road. However, there are more options than you might realize out there, and it pays to know what each one is, and what it can offer you. Here’s a quick guide to engine replacement terminology and what each option actually means.

New Engines

New engines are not really new. There’s really no such thing. A new engine is the same thing as a crate engine, which is technically the same thing as a remanufactured engine. “New” is just a marketing term.

Remanufactured Engines

Remanufactured engines are the same thing as new or crate engines. They’ve been completely disassembled, all the internal components have been replaced, the housing/casing has been resurfaced, and the entire engine put back together within original OEM specifications. For all intents and purposes, it IS a new engine. Remanufactured engines are the longest lasting options on the market, and make the soundest investments for those who need to put a bit more life in their existing vehicle.

Rebuilt Engines

A rebuilt engine is exactly what it sounds like. In this situation, the engine is pulled from the vehicle, the damaged internal components replaced, and then the engine is reassembled. Only the failed components are replaced, and there is no resurfacing included (generally, speaking). Rebuilding generally takes place in a mechanic shop rather than a factory setting, as opposed to remanufacturing.

Refurbished Engines

A refurbished engine is basically the same thing as a remanufactured engine. However, it may or may not have undergone computer testing and resurfacing (and it may or may not have had all internal components replaced). Often, refurbished engines are somewhere between remanufactured and rebuilt in terms of what’s been done to repair them.

Used Engines

A used engine is nothing more than an engine taken from one vehicle and installed in another. There is no replacement or repair process involved, though you can always ask about the history of car engines for sale (tracking the VIN to the original). Used engines are very affordable, and they’re widely available, but they may not be the best choice for your particular situation since they come with no guarantee on condition or the amount of life left in them.

Salvage Engines

Salvage is the term usually applied to used engines pulled from junkyard cars. These are used engines, and they’ve generally had at least a cursory inspection by the junkyard operator. However, there’s no guarantee that there aren’t any damaged internal components, or that the engine will last more than a couple of miles.

With the information above, you should be able to determine which is the right option for your budget, vehicle and peace of mind. While remanufactured engines offer the best in terms of lifespan and reliability, this might not be the ideal choice for you, particularly if you just need to get the vehicle running so you can sell it. Consider your options carefully.

Engine Stumbles On Acceleration

Customer’s Engine Stumbles In Acceleration: What To Test

FEBRUARY 3, 2014 By Powertrain Pro

Ideally, an engine will accelerate smoothly through its power band. However, there are problems that can cause it to stumble (you might be more familiar with the terms judder, hesitate or hiccup). There are quite a few problems that can cause stumbling during engine operation, but you’ll have to do a few tests to find out exactly what’s going on. You’ll also have to make sure that the problem is actually stumbling and not missing or backfiring (test drive the car yourself to duplicate your customer’s concern).

Reasons an Engine Stumbles in Acceleration

One of the most common causes of stumbling or hesitation during acceleration is a fouled spark plug (or plugs). This is a simple diagnosis and a simple fix. Remove the plugs and check the electrodes for wear and/or oil fouling them. If the spark plugs are worn out, replace them. If they’re fouled, clean them off and replace them, then test the engine acceleration. If the problem doesn’t lie with the spark plugs, though, you’ll need to check other components especially when looking at engines for sale.

The airflow sensor or airflow meter is another common culprit here. Dead spots on this sensor can cause issues with combustion during acceleration, so you’ll need to troubleshoot the sensor for proper operation (electrical diagnostic). Another potential issue is a vacuum leak. Large leaks will cause issues on acceleration (usually as soon as you begin accelerating). The best way to test for a vacuum leak is to pressurize the system (with the engine off). Connect compressed air to the system and listen for leaks. This will let you pinpoint the problem area and make repairs. Vacuum leaks are usually very simple fixes (gaskets and hoses for the most part), but they can be very hard to spot, so be prepared to spend some time here.

If the problem isn’t actually stumbling/hesitation and instead involves missing or backfiring, you’ll need to take additional steps. Missing during acceleration can be an indication of spark plug or spark plug wire failure, a fuel filter that needs to be replaced or a vacuum leak. Backfiring is often a problem with the ignition system or a vacuum leak, but it can also be a problem with the vehicle’s computer.

Stumbling during acceleration is generally an easy fix once you have identified the problem. For your customer’s sake, it’s hopefully nothing more serious than fouled plugs or an easily identifiable vacuum leak.

How To Winterize Your Boat

Inboard Engines

Run the engine to warm it up and change the oil while it is warm. This allows impurities to be drained away with the oil. Change the oil filter(s). Flush the engine with fresh water. Circulate antifreeze through the manifold by using a pickup hose from the water pump to a bucket of antifreeze. Start the engine and allow the antifreeze to circulate until water starts to exit the exhaust. This process will vary slightly depending on whether you have a "Raw Water" cooling system or an "Enclosed Fresh Water" cooling system. While you're in the engine room, change the fluid in your transmission. Remove spark plugs and use "fogging oil" to spray into each cylinder. Wipe down the engine with a shop towel sprayed with a little fogging oil or WD-40.

Stern Drives

Thoroughly inspect the stern drive and remove any plant life or barnacles from the lower unit. Drain the gear case and check for excessive moisture in the oil, which could indicate leaking seals and the need for repairs. Clean the lower unit with soap and water. If your stern drive has a rubber boot, check it for cracks or pinholes. Grease all fittings and check fluid levels in the hydraulic steering or lift pumps. Check your owner's manual for additional recommendations by the manufacturer.

Fuel

Fill your fuel tank(s) to avoid a build up of condensation over the winter months. Add a fuel stabilizer by following the instructions on the product. Change the fuel filter(s) and water separator(s).

Bilges

Make sure the bilges are clean and dry. Use soap, hot water and a stiff brush to clean up any oil spills. Once the bilges are clean, spray with a moisture displacing lubricant and add a little antifreeze to prevent any water from freezing.

Fresh Water System

Completely drain the fresh water tank and hot water heater. Isolate the hot water heater by disconnecting the in and out lines and connecting them together. Pump a non-toxic antifreeze into the system and turn on all the faucets, including the shower and any wash-down areas until you see the antifreeze coming out. Put non-toxic antifreeze in the water heater.

Head

Pump out the holding tank at an approved facility. While pumping, add fresh water to the bowl and flush several times. Use Vanish crystals or whatever your owner's manual recommends that will not harm your system and let it sit for a few minutes. Add fresh water and pump out again. Add antifreeze and pump through hoses, holding tank, y-valve, macerator and discharge hose. Check your owner's manual to make sure that an alcohol-based antifreeze won't damage your system.

Interior

Once you have taken care of the systems, should remove any valuables, electronics, lines, PFD, fire extinguishers, flares, fenders, etc. Over the winter, clean, check and replace these items as necessary. Open all drawers and lockers and clean thoroughly. Turn cushions up on edge so that air is able to circulate around them or, better yet, bring them home to a climate controlled area. Open and clean the refrigerator and freezer. To keep your boat dry and mildew-free you might want to install a dehumidifier or use a commercially available odor and moisture absorber product.

Out-of-Water Storage

Pressure wash the hull, clean barnacles off props and shafts, rudders, struts and trim tabs. Clean all thru-hulls and strainers. Open the seacocks to allow any water to drain. Check the hull for blisters; if you find any that require attention, consider opening them to drain over the winter.

In-Water Storage

Close all seacocks and check rudder shafts and stuffing boxes for leaks, then tighten or repack as necessary. Check your battery to make sure it is fully charged, clean the terminals, add water if necessary and make sure your charging system is working. Check the bilge pumps to ensure they are working, that the float switches properly activate the pumps, and that they are not hindered by debris. Make sure to check your boat periodically or have the marina check it and report to you. If the water in which you are docked or moored tends to freeze, you should install a de-icing device or bubbling system around your boat.

Trailers

Like boats, trailers need some attention in the fall so they'll still be rolling in the spring. Hubs that have been immersed in water during the season must be cleaned thoroughly. Rusted areas on the frame should be sanded, primed, and repainted. Tires should be inspected, especially the sidewalls, which tend to crack and wear out before the treads. Finally, removing the wheels and adding support at the blocks under the frame rails will prolong the life of the tires, minimize sagging on the springs, and discourage theft.

Batteries

You may want to leave a battery aboard your boat to operate a burglar alarm or an automatic bilge pump. These are both useful in the winter, but don't expect an automatic pump to overcome bad deck, cabin, or hull leaks—not in the summer or winter. The pump, battery, or float switch can fail, leaving the boat unprotected. A boat with chronic leaking problems should be dry-stored and repaired as soon as possible. If you do leave a battery aboard, make sure the cells are filled with distilled water and fully charged so they don't freeze. Frozen cells will ruin a battery. Clean the terminals with baking soda, and rinse with cold water. Coat the terminals and cables with petroleum jelly to help prevent rust.

If you don’t need a battery aboard, take it home and do all of the above anyway. Store batteries in a cool dry room and put them on a trickle charger or charge them every 30 to 60 days.

Covers

Invest in a cover to keep your boat clean and free from dirt, water, falling leaves and bird droppings, all of which can cause damage if left unchecked. A cover can also prevent UV rays from breaking down hoses and fading carpets and upholstery. During the winter a frame should be used under the cover to distribute the weight of water or snow that may collect on the boat.

Marina/Watercraft Yard Contracts

If you store your boat at a marina or yard, be sure to review your contract so you know what services you’ll receive and what you are responsible for providing through the winter. Most marinas and yards only store your boat, and any maintenance or winter preparation services typically cost extra. Be aware that many marinas and yards have clauses that waive liability in the event of damage or destruction to a watercraft in storage, and most require that owners have full insurance coverage.

Need To Replace Your Transmission ?

Transmission Replacement Terms You Must Know

OCTOBER 17, 2013 By POWERTRAIN PRO

Transmission problems can strike at any time, whether you’re driving an automatic or a stick shift. Wear and tear, early failure of internal components, lack of transmission fluid (due to leaks, usually) and other problems can leave you stranded. When this happens, you’ll need to replace your transmission, but there are a few things you need to know before getting into the process. If you’re not familiar with the various transmission replacement terms, it can be a confusing process.

New Transmission

First, understand that there’s really no such thing as a new transmission, not in the way that most people think of them. A “new” transmission is the same thing as a crate or remanufactured transmission. These have all new internal components, but the case is reused (after being resurfaced and reconditioned to the original OEM specifications).

Remanufactured Transmissions

As mentioned, a remanufactured transmission is as close to “new” as you can really get. Unlike rebuilt transmissions, which we’ll get to in a moment or two, remanufactured transmissions have all new internal components, and are engineered to explicit automaker guidelines. The remanufacturing process is done in a factory setting, with the use of computer guidance and specialized tools.

Rebuilt Transmissions

A rebuilt transmission has had the failed components replaced. In most instances, an inspection of the internal components not replaced is conducted, and anything in immediate danger of failing is replaced or repaired. However, it should be understood that these do not contain all new internal components – only those that have failed or are about to fail are replaced. As such, they’re not quite as reliable as remanufactured transmissions.

Refurbished Transmissions

The refurbishing process is closer to rebuilding than to remanufacturing. In most instances, a refurbished transmission is the same thing as a rebuilt transmission.

 

Salvage Transmissions

Salvage transmissions are the cheapest replacement option on the market, but they’re also the least beneficial. They’re taken from junked, wrecked or otherwise damaged vehicles. While they are inspected for operation, that inspection is basic, and there are no parts replaced. If you’re trying to get a car in drivable condition so you can sell it or trade it in, this might be the best option, but if you’re looking for something reliable to drive for the long term, it’s better to opt for something a bit more expensive (and more reliable).

Based on the information above, you should be able to determine what type of transmission replacement you need, based on your driving requirements and your budget. Remanufactured transmissions are always the most reliable choice, but they are also the most costly. Rebuilt options are more affordable, but don’t go through the rigorous remanufacturing process. Consider your needs and budget very carefully before making any decision.

Common Problems With The Ford 5.4L

 What Every Owner Needs to Know

AUGUST 15, 2016 By POWERTRAIN PRO

 

The engine is the heart of every vehicle, and it’s the most expensive component to repair or overhaul. It does not matter what kind of vehicle you own or how you use it – the quality of the engine will play a major role in your overall satisfaction and your total repair costs.

The Ford 5.4-liter engine has been one of the most popular powertrains for more than a decade now, and over the years it has proven to be both reliable and fuel efficient. Even so, this engine’s owners have identified some common problems, and it is important to be on the lookout for the early warning signs.

The sooner you catch a problem with the Ford 5.4-liter engine, or any other one for that matter, the less costly the eventual repairs can be. Here’s what you need to know:

Fuel Pump Failure:

The fuel pump has a vital role to play, and unfortunately it has been a weak spot in 5.4-liter Ford engines thus far. More specifically, it is the fuel pump driver module that has been such a big issue. Over time, the fuel pump driver module can corrode, essentially eating a hole through its aluminum housing. Once the housing has become compromised and the delicate electronics have been exposed, it is just a matter of time before the fuel pump driver module fails.

Keeping a close eye on this driver module and watching for signs of corrosion is the best defense. You want to repair or replace the module at the first sign of corrosion, before the electronics are exposed and subsequently damaged.

Other Common Issues:

There have also been reported problems with the timing chain and tensioners as well as issues with the variable valve timing. If they go undetected, these problems can lead to the premature failure of the entire engine, or at least a big repair bill.

Unfortunately, problems with the tensioners, timing chain and other systems are not always readily apparent. The best defense is to have these items checked at least once a year by a mechanic who has experience with the Ford 5.4-liter engine. Premature wear on the timing chain, variable valve timing and tensioners can be subtle, and that is why working with an experienced Ford mechanic is so important.

Replacing Your Engine:

Should your engine fail, it’s important to be informed about your options for replacement. Many people do not realize that it is actually very cost effective to purchase a replacement engine and/or transmission and have it installed by a reputable local mechanic.

 

A Guide to Engine Replacement

A Guide to Engine Replacement Terminology – What You Should Know

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 By Powertrain Pro

Your car is only as reliable as the engine that powers it (and the transmission, of course). If you’ve been sidelined with a damaged engine, replacing it is the only way to get back on the road. However, there are more options than you might realize out there, and it pays to know what each one is, and what it can offer you. Here’s a quick guide to engine replacement terminology and what each option actually means.

New Engines

New engines are not really new. There’s really no such thing. A new engine is the same thing as a crate engine, which is technically the same thing as a remanufactured engine. “New” is just a marketing term.

Remanufactured Engines

Remanufactured engines are the same thing as new or crate engines. They’ve been completely disassembled, all the internal components have been replaced, the housing/casing has been resurfaced, and the entire engine put back together within original OEM specifications. For all intents and purposes, it IS a new engine. Remanufactured engines are the longest lasting options on the market, and make the soundest investments for those who need to put a bit more life in their existing vehicle.

Rebuilt Engines

A rebuilt engine is exactly what it sounds like. In this situation, the engine is pulled from the vehicle, the damaged internal components replaced, and then the engine is reassembled. Only the failed components are replaced, and there is no resurfacing included (generally, speaking). Rebuilding generally takes place in a mechanic shop rather than a factory setting, as opposed to remanufacturing.

Refurbished Engines

A refurbished engine is basically the same thing as a remanufactured engine. However, it may or may not have undergone computer testing and resurfacing (and it may or may not have had all internal components replaced). Often, refurbished engines are somewhere between remanufactured and rebuilt in terms of what’s been done to repair them.

Used Engines

A used engine is nothing more than an engine taken from one vehicle and installed in another. There is no replacement or repair process involved, though you can always ask about the history of car engines for sale (tracking the VIN to the original). Used engines are very affordable, and they’re widely available, but they may not be the best choice for your particular situation since they come with no guarantee on condition or the amount of life left in them.

Salvage Engines

Salvage is the term usually applied to used engines pulled from junkyard cars. These are used engines, and they’ve generally had at least a cursory inspection by the junkyard operator. However, there’s no guarantee that there aren’t any damaged internal components, or that the engine will last more than a couple of miles.

With the information above, you should be able to determine which is the right option for your budget, vehicle and peace of mind. While remanufactured engines offer the best in terms of lifespan and reliability, this might not be the ideal choice for you, particularly if you just need to get the vehicle running so you can sell it. Consider your options carefully.

Marine Engines Water Ingestion / Intrusion

Marine Engines Water Ingestion/Intrusion – Background and How to Check

IMPORTANT: A check for water intrusion should be performed on all new Marine Engines with thru transom and  Thru Exhaust Systems. Two methods can be used to check for water in the Marine Exhaust Manifolds. The simplest and least time‑consuming way is the exhaust elbow removal method. With this method, however, it is difficult to accurately determine the amount of water in the manifolds. The exhaust manifold tap method provides a more accurate means to measure the water, but requires that a hole be drilled in each manifold. The manifolds must be replaced after performing this check, so the procedure is best performed by a Marine Parts mechanic or specialist.

IMPORTANT: If there is no water in one marine exhaust manifold, do not assume that there is not water in the other manifold. Check each manifold.

Water Intrusion can commonly be categorized into 3 separate and distinct categories; Reversion, Ingestion, and condensation.

  1. Reversion – This is commonly caused by the Marine Engines Exhaust tuning characteristics such as camshaft dynamics and valve timing. Mercruiser utilized the Exhaust Resonators to address this specific issue. This problem is mainly experienced on the higher Hp engines with aggressive camshafts such as the 454 Mag and 502 Mag engines. This problem seems to be magnified with thru-hull exhaust systems as the exhaust back pressure is reduced. This effect can be thought of such that when the engine is breathing better due to the reduced exhaust back-pressure its also able to pull water back through the exhaust system more easily as well.
  2. Ingestion – This issue is most commonly caused by incorrect Exhaust Riser Height. In this case your marine engine may need to have exhaust spacers installed. Other common causes for water ingestion are poor exhaust manifold/riser joint design. The stainless steel exhaust risers used by Mercruiser  in the early 1990′s was a good example of a poorly designed gasket/joint. The differential expansion rates between cast iron and stainless steel along with the short mounting fasteners allowed this to be a source of many problems. Mercruiser ultimately designed the Dry joint Exhaust System in 2001 to begin addressing the core issues with water ingestion induced by poor gasket/joint design. Another common cause for ingestion is not utilizing an external exhaust flapper which can allow water to come back through the boat exhaust system exit. Another related item is a failed or missing internal exhaust shutter which serve the same purpose.
  3. Condensation – This is probably the most misunderstood and commonly mis-diagnosed issue within this overall water ingestion/intrusion umbrella. In a general sense condensation in and of itself does not seem to be a failure inducing problem on its own, however when taken in context with the overall environment and operating conditions this issue rises to the top as a problem.Warm manifold versus cold manifold systems seem to be the best overall approach to the exhaust system. The primary function is that they route only engine heated and thermostat controlled water through the exhaust manifolds, while then routing the excess cooling water not needed by the engine overboard through the exhaust risers. This then allows the manifolds to run at 160 F in most cases which exceeds the 120 F thresh hold where condensation becomes an issue. While the larger surface area of the exhaust manifolds is now heated while the surface area of the riser is cold but a much smaller surface area in comparison. The other notable benefit with warm manifold cooling systems is that the additional heat in the manifolds not only prevents condensation but also burns out any moisture that may be present due to gasket leakage, reversion, etc.  Mercruiser also utilized the exhaust turbulator on the 496 mag marine engines as a preventative measure for controlling condensation when a warm manifold cooling system was not achievable. Prior to the time that the Dry Joint systems were introduced on the V6 and Small V8 Marine Engines, Mercruiser did develop a retrofit kit which offered a Turbulator Plate to be used with the existing Wet Joint style exhaust systems. If you’ve had any related issues with Water Ingestion or Condensation we would recommend using these Turbulator’s to help deal with the issue…Turbulator.

Preparation: Consider hose lengths and angle, exhaust elbow height to the water line, water lift muffler exhaust outlet angles, water lift muffler water height, idle relief angles, exhaust collector angles, air temperature, water temperature, and humidity when performing these tests.

 

Trim/Tilt for Inboard / Outboards

Many outboards and most inboard/outboards (I/Os) come equipped with power trim which raises or lowers the drive unit. In this case the term "trim" refers to the running position of the engine drive unit.

Although most people know that the trimming movement raises and lowers the bow, many are unaware that it also can effect steering and performance. When you trim your drive unit either "in" or "out" you may feel a pull on the steering wheel either to the right or left.

If the steering pull grows beyond a slight pull, an inadvertent release of the wheel can cause the boat to go into a sharp turn and passengers could be thrown around, or even out of, the boat. Be sure to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.

The three positions of trim and results are as follows:

Trimming In (Down)

  • Lowers the bow
  • Results in quicker planing, especially with a heavy load
  • Improves ride in choppy water
  • Increases steering torque or pull to the right

Neutral Trimming

  • Lowers the bow
  • Normally results in greater efficiency. (Note that the propeller shaft, which connects the propeller to the drive shaft, is parallel to the surface of the water.)

Trimming Out (Up)

  • Lifts the bow
  • Increases top speed
  • Increases clearance in shallow waters
  • Increases steering torque or pull to the left
  • In excess, causes the boat to bounce

Remanufactured Engines vs Used Engines

Remanufactured Engines vs. Used Engines – What to You Must Know

FEBRUARY 7, 2014 By POWERTRAIN PRO

If you have a customer with a blown engine come into your shop, you need to know the right options to get them back on the road. While there are several different choices you can recommend, that recommendation should hinge on a few different factors. Obviously, if there’s a warranty company involved, then you’ll have to communicate with them and find out what they’ll authorize and what they won’t. If there’s no warranty company, then you’ll need to base your recommendations on the customer’s needs and budget. Often, it comes down to the choice between remanufactured engines vs used engines.

Remanufactured Engines vs. Used Engines

The Cost Conundrum

Your customer is on a budget – they have limited funds to spend, and no matter how much they might want to go with “all the bells and whistles”, they’re probably not going to part with more cash than they absolutely have to. Comparingremanufactured engines vs used engines, the used option is definitely cheaper. However, that’s not the entire story, and you should never recommend a used engine without actually clarifying what the customer will be receiving.

 

Used Engines

Used engines are just that – they’re used. They’re pulled from wrecked vehicles, given an inspection and then dropped into your customer’s car – a majority of used engines for sale are easily repairable. What that means is your customer saves money over a remanufactured engine because there are is no component replacement process. However, there’s no way to guarantee that a used engine is going to last a long time. Your customer needs to understand that beyond whatever basic mileage warranty you offer, there’s no protection, so any lack of maintenance on the part of the previous owner or hidden damage not caught during an inspection could mean that the used engine is actually going to cost them more in the long run.

Remanufactured Engines are completely re-engineered from the ground up. While the exterior components will not be replaced (so long as there is no damage), all the internals are replaced and the engine complies with OEM specifications and clearances. For all intents and purposes, it’s a new engine in an old body, if that makes sense. Of course, remanufactured engines do cost more than used engines, but they come with a significantly lower risk level, which any customer should be able to appreciate.

In the end, your customer’s budget and how long they intend to keep the car in question will dictate what option they choose in a remanufactured engine vs used engine situation.

Get Your Boat Ready For Spring Launch!

 

You’ve spent all winter dreaming about getting your boat back in the water. But are you really ready? Some of the things you may take for granted once the season is under way have a way of getting misplaced, out-of-date or run down during those months of inactivity. So what’s the best way to make sure you’ve got everything properly squared away for a fun and “uneventful” first launch? Just follow this handy pre-launch checklist!

• Keep it legal. In the weeks leading up to launch, make sure your boat registration is up to date (including hull identification decals), along with current fishing licenses for all your mates, and any required parking permits for your launch ramp. If you’re angling for a new wet slip at your marina, get started early to lock in a good deal and the best location.

• Take inventory. Take the boat cover off and give your boat a good airing-out. This will give you access to all the things you forgot you stored aboard in the off-season. Make sure you have life jackets (PFDs) for your crew. Remember those kids probably grew over the past months, so check to make sure they don’t need a bigger size jacket. Also, check the jackets carefully for wear. A proper-fitting PFD in good condition is the best way to keep everyone safe out on the water.

• Examine carefully. If you gave the boat a proper winter lay up, either at your local dealer or as a do-it-yourself project, your first cold start should be fairly easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s something you should take lightly, and the longer it’s been sitting, the more important it is to do it right. Since you probably removed your battery during the off-season, make sure it’s properly charged and connected. Check your fluid levels, make sure your belts are in good condition and tight, and check your throttle linkages.  

• Get fired up. Next, cover your cold-water intakes with “muffs” or “flushers” and connect to your garden hose (outboard or sterndrive…don’t skip this step or you’ll ruin your impeller!). Also, remember to lower your outdrive to the lowest position possible before turning the key. If it’s tilted up (like you would normally have it on your trailer), you risk engine damage because the oil can’t circulate properly. After starting, let the motor warm up for several minutes while you check for leaks, and give the entire boat a careful walk-around, looking for anything usual. Turn the engine off and wait several minutes before repeating the previous steps.

• Get ready to roll. Before you hook up to your tow vehicle, check the condition and air pressure on your trailer tires. If it hasn’t been moved in months, make sure they haven’t developed “flat spots,” which can affect the way it handles on the road. Check your bow and stern straps (and bow cable) for wear. Unscrew your drain plug and screw it back in to make sure it’s properly seated.

• Take a brake. After hooking up, have someone step on the brake pedal while you make sure the trailer brake lights are working. While still in your driveway, make sure your brakes feel (and sound) secure.

• Pre-launch prep. After arriving at the launch ramp parking area, pull off to the side and disconnect your brake lights (hot light bulbs and plastic do not play well with cold water). Remove and store your boat cover and stern straps. Recheck your drain plug and turn your blower on.

• Down the ramp. Back your trailer down the ramp until your outdrive contacts water. Lower your drive and fire up your engine. Unhook your bow strap and safety cable, then back the boat off the trailer and tie up at the courtesy dock for passenger loading, or to pull up and park your tow vehicle if you’re by yourself.

Whether you’re a veteran boater or this will be your first exciting season, following these steps (every time you launch) will help ensure you get the most out of your time on the water. Oh, and you might want to check that drain plug again!

Opt for a Remanufactured Transmission

Maximize Your Investment – Opt for a Remanufactured Transmission

OCTOBER 3, 2013 By Powertrain Pro

 

Transmission woes can leave you on the side of the road. Whether you drive a stick shift or an automatic, transmission troubles are expensive. When your current transmission fails, you’ll need to replace it, but should you opt for a rebuilt or a remanufactured transmission? If you’re making your decision strictly on your budget, it might seem that a rebuilt transmission is the best choice, but that’s misleading. There are plenty of reasons to opt for a remanufactured model, not the least of which is the greater lifespan you’ll get. What should you know?

Rebuilt Means Parts Added

First, let’s discuss the difference between rebuilt and remanufactured transmissions. Essentially, rebuilt means that the transmission has had failed components replaced. Often, that’s the end of it. Once the problem has been corrected, the transmission is reassembled and put up for sale. While that does mean the transmission works, it doesn’t mean that it will work for very long. For instance, while the failed components will be replaced, what about the components that are damaged, but not yet completely failed? What about the components that have significant wear and tear, but are still operational? Over time, those components will also fail, leaving you once more on the side of the road and in need of another replacement transmission.

Remanufactured Means Re-Engineered

Now, let’s contrast the rebuilding process with the remanufacturing process. Remanufacturing is exactly what it sounds like. The transmission is completely torn down, all of the old internals are removed and replaced with new components. The case is resurfaced and the entire transmission is brought back into new OEM specs. Then, the transmission is reassembled and tested before being made available for sale. It is, in essence, a new transmission. Yes, these are a bit more costly than rebuilt transmissions, but when you really think about it, it’s the best way to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.

A remanufactured transmission will last as a long as the transmission in a new car that just rolled onto the dealership’s lot. A rebuilt transmission might be in almost any condition, including “just about to fail again”. Remember – the biggest difference here is that a rebuilt transmission has had the failed components replaced (nothing more). A remanufactured transmission is completely re-engineered from the ground up in a factory setting.

What Makes the Most Sense for You?

Everyone is constrained by a budget to at least some extent. Superficially, that might make it seem like going with a rebuilt transmission is the better option. You pay less and can take your chances with further component failure. However, that’s not the wisest course of action to take. It’s far more important to have reliability, peace of mind and the knowledge that your transmission is going to last at least another 100,000 miles. A rebuilt transmission or used transmissions might get you another 1,000 and die again leaving you footing the bill for another transmission replacement in less than a month.

Winterizing Your Boat

Winterizing Your Boat

When the boating season is winding down, it’s time to start thinking about protecting your valuable recreational asset. The time and effort you spend now will have a definite effect on your boat's performance, or lack of it, and certainly save you time, effort and money come spring. You should remember that your insurance policy may not cover damage done by lack of maintenance or neglect.

The best place for your boat to be during the winter is out of the water, under cover, in a climate-controlled boat storage area. This, however, can be expensive. If don't have this option perhaps you should consider shrink-wrapping your boat. This, too, is a little expensive but provides a very protective cover. Short of these two items, make sure that your boat is well covered with a tarp or some other sturdy cover.

Your first step in winterizing should be to make a checklist of all items that need to be accomplished. Check the owner's manual of both your boat and motor for manufacturer's recommendations on winterization. If you are a new boat owner, perhaps you should employ the assistance of a friend with experience in winterizing or hire a professional to do the job.

Here are some general procedures you’ll need to follow.

Inboard Engine(s)

You should run the engine to warm it up and change the oil while it is warm. This allows the oil to drain more fully. Make sure you supply cooling water to the engine via the flushing port. Remove the oil filter and properly dispose of it as well. Refill the engine, check the level and check it again for leaks.

Finally, flush the engine with non-toxic antifreeze by using an intake hose to the water pump. Place the end of the hose in a bucket or bottle of antifreeze. Start the engine and allow the antifreeze to circulate until it starts to exit the exhaust. While you're in the engine room you should also change the fluid in your transmission. Remove spark plugs and use "fogging oil" to spray into each cylinder. Wipe down the engine with a shop towel sprayed with a little fogging oil.

Stern Drive(s)

  • You should thoroughly inspect the stern drive and remove any plant life or barnacles from the lower unit.
  • Drain the gear case and check for moisture in the oil. This could indicate leaking seals that must be repaired before spring recommissioning.
  • Clean the lower unit with soap and water.
  • If your stern drive has a rubber boot(look between the transom and engine), check it for cracks or pinholes.
  • Grease all fittings and check fluid levels in hydraulic steering or lift pumps.
  • Check with your owner's manual for additional recommendations by the manufacturer.

Foreign Object Damage To Engine

Foreign Object Damage

JULY 17, 2013 by POWERTRAIN PRO

 

Engine Installation Error 

The second most common engine installation error is damage to the new engine by a foreign object. This is generally because you’ve failed to clean the intake properly. Without a clean intake and EGR, chances are good that carbon or other debris will be sucked into the intake and damage the engine before your customer even gets to drive the car.

 

Avoiding This Engine Installation Error

The simplest option here is to buy a new intake manifold, manifold gasket, EGR valve and EGR valve gasket. With new (or reman) parts, you don’t need to worry about carbon buildup or debris from your old engine, as it’s already been taken care of for you by the supplier. With that being said, not every customer is going to jump for joy at the thought of spending even more money, so cleaning the original intake is the more common option.

Cleaning the Intake

Every engine is different, but they’re all pretty similar. You’ll need to remove the intake manifold from the old engine before installing it on the new one. This is the perfect time to do some deep cleaning. You’ll need a new gasket in most cases (better safe than sorry), and you should convince your customer to go ahead and buy a new EGR valve and gasket just to be on the safe side. Manifolds with throttle body injection MUST have the TB (throttle body) removed during cleaning. Often times debris will lodge itself immediately under the TB!

Flip the intake manifold over to see where the carbon buildup is. Remove the gasket if it’s stuck to the bottom of the intake. Check out the amount of carbon or debris damage on the intake so you know the likely places where extra effort will be required. If there’s a serious amount of buildup (i.e. you’ve only got a narrow hole in the intake free of carbon), it might be best to just buy a new one.

Some mechanics prefer to use a pressure washer to remove some carbon immediately, and then soak it, while others prefer to soak it immediately. Either way, the point of the job is to remove all the carbon or debris from the intake so that none of it gets sucked into the new engine after installation. Most often, any debris left behind by your original engine failure will be embedded in the carbon. Take the intake and soak it in a chemical bath – depending on your shop’s setup, this might be carb cleaner or a specialty chemical mixture. Regardless, let it soak as long as necessary. For normal amounts of carbon, this might be most of the day, but for severe buildup, let the intake soak overnight in the bath.

After bathing, wash the carbon out using high-pressure water. Once you’ve cleaned out the carbon, visually inspect the intake once more. You’re looking for any carbon or debris deposits that weren’t removed by the water. You should remove these to avoid potential damage to the new engine – blow the intake out thoroughly with high-pressure air. Once all the carbon has been removed (and you’ve THOROUGHLY inspected the intake), it can be installed on the new engine.

If your customer isn’t replacing the EGR valve, you’ll need to clean the carbon out of it as well. They’re not very expensive though, so it’s really better just to bite the bullet and put a new valve on just to save time and headaches.

Take these steps and you’ll ensure to avoid this common engine installation error.

Ford's Best selling V-8 Engines

NOVEMBER 7, 2013 By Powertrain Pro

When it comes to Ford engines, there’s a tremendous amount of history covering almost a century of manufacturing, and hundreds of different engine sizes and configurations. Ford’s engines have run the gamut from the average daily driver (perhaps the largest, yet least spectacular category) to powerhouse engines designed for racing and performance. The company’s probably most famous for its V8 engines – they offer power, performance, customizability and more. Of course, there have been tons of different V8 engine models produced throughout the company’s long history, but there are some favorites out there.

HO (High Output) 5.0

While Ford has been using the liter designation on its engines since the late 1970s, the company went through several years of poor engine performance across the board before there was a recognizably decent one that could be called a “modern” engine. Ford had plenty of popular older engines, dating from the 60s back, but those are becoming harder and harder to find these days. For a current engine (loosely), the 5.0L HO would have to be the earliest contender. Dating from the days before fuel injection, it used either a 2 or 4-barrel carb, and offered 225 HP for most of its 7-year history (1986-1993). Of course, like any other engine, you have to add aftermarket performance gear to really get an adrenaline-push out of this engine.

5.4L GT

Ford’s Modular Engine was used in a ton of different cars and trucks for a very long time. It also went through several different iterations, but the most popular of them all would probably be the 5.4L GT. With 550 HP and 32-valve performance, this engine offered a marked upgrade from what came before. It was also widely produced, with more than 4,000 different units eventually rolling off the assembly line. This is one of the few engines out there that performance great straight from the manufacturer with no tinkering necessary.

3-Valve 4.6L

There’s a reason the 3-valve 4.6L has won consecutive Ward’s Top 10 best engine awards over the last few years, and that’s because it’s a great engine, hands down. While it might not have the big numbers that most hot-rod enthusiasts have come to association with great engines, it does have the performance. It offers 315 HP, but paired with the lighter bodies of today’s performance Mustangs, it’s all that you need to keep up with more powerful V8 engines on offer.

Rebuilt Or Remanufactured Engine

Rebuilt or Remanufactured Engine – Understanding the Ramifications of Your Choice

OCTOBER 9, 2013 By Powertrain Pro

 

While today’s vehicles are made to last longer than ever (with less maintenance, too), that doesn’t mean they’ll last forever. Eventually, wear and tear will cripple major vehicle components, including the engine. Other factors can cause premature engine failure as well – lack of proper maintenance, serious accidents that damage the engine, and numerous others can leave you in the lurch. Regardless of why your original engine is now on the way out, you need a replacement to keep you on the road. You have two primary choices – a rebuilt engine or a remanufactured engine.

Rebuilt Engines – Good, but not best

If you’re on a limited budget, you might compare prices between a rebuilt engine and a remanufactured engine and decide that rebuilt is the way to go. It is more affordable, it’s true. Well, it’s more affordable in the immediate future, but the situation over the long-term might be very different. A rebuilt engine will get you back on the road for less, but chances are good that you’re not going to stay on the road as long.

Rebuilt engines won’t last as long as a remanufactured engine. So, that lower price tag is more than a little misleading. After all, paying for a replacement now, and then paying for another in just a few thousand miles doubles your costs. On the other hand, a remanufactured engine will last far, far longer, so you actually get to maximize your investment.

Why the Lifespan Difference?

Why is a rebuilt engine not as long lasting as a remanufactured engine? The truth of the matter can be found in the names – rebuilt and remanufactured. Rebuilt engines are exactly what they sound like. They’re disassembled, the failed components are replaced, and then they’re put back together once more. That means any old parts that haven’t already failed are still in place, and it means that no resurfacing or re-engineering has taken place. It’s a process that can take place almost anywhere, even in your own garage.

A remanufactured engine, on the other hand, is something different. The process takes place in a manufacturing plant, under computer guidance. All the surfaces are cleaned, resurfaced, and put back into OEM specs. All the failed components are replaced, and all the worn components are replaced – it’s essentially a new engine inside a used case. It’s as close as you can get to a “new” transmission.

With a rebuilt transmission, you have a tremendous number of components still in operation with wear and tear, and even possibly with flaws that will eventually compromise performance. A rebuilt transmission is just one step up from a used transmission. Often, rebuilding is no more than applying a Band-Aid to the problem. It solves the immediate issue, but it does nothing about potential issues that might arise in the future.

If you’re seeking the longest lasting solution to your transmission woes, a remanufactured transmission is simply the best choice.

Is my engine running too lean ?

Possible Reasons For My Customers Engine Running Lean

FEBRUARY 1, 2014 By POWERTRAIN PRO

 

Lean operation happens when there’s too much air in the air-fuel mixture. In minor instances, it won’t cause much problem, but in serious situations, it can cause massive headaches and expensive repairs. It might even lead to the need for engine replacement if left unchecked for a long period of time, thankfully there are many used engines for sale. Diagnosing a lean condition can be tough, as there are many different situations that can lead to it. Here are some of the most common reasons for an engine running lean.

Oxygen Sensors

Oxygen sensors are important parts of the exhaust system and play a vital role in reducing emissions. However, they’re responsible for more than that. The data sent from the car’s oxygen sensors to the computer helps it adjust the air-fuel mixture for optimal operation. If a sensor is bad or failing, the computer won’t be able to adjust this mix correctly. This can lead to either lean or rich operation, both of which are bad.

Fuel System Situations

One of the most common situations causing lean engine operation involves fuel system problems. Clogged fuel filters are the usual culprit (both inline and in-tank). If the filter becomes clogged, the amount of fuel flowing to the engine is reduced. That results in a low ratio of fuel to air, causing lean operation. Clogged fuel injectors can also cause this problem.

Airflow Sensors

All vehicles use what’s called an airflow sensor to determine just how much air is getting to the engine from the intake. If the sensor is going out or already failed, too much air might be entering the engine and causing lean operation. If the sensor is operating correctly, it tells the computer to increase fuel flow to compensate for additional airflow. If that doesn’t happen, it can cause real issues.

Most causes of lean operation are pretty easy to diagnose and require very little time. For instance, a failed oxygen sensor is usually diagnosable by checking the code causing a check engine light to illuminate. However, there are other issues that aren’t quite so easily diagnosed. Air leaks (vacuum leaks) in the engine fall into this category. Holes in hoses can cause too much air to enter the combustion system and make the engine run lean.

Lean operation is usually not a cause for engine replacement, but if you have an engine running lean for a long period before the customer brings it to your attention, real damage can be caused.

Remanufactured Transmissions vs Transmission Repair

Remanufactured Transmissions vs Transmission Repair: Helping Your Customer Choose the Best Option

FEBRUARY 5, 2014 By Powertrain Pro

Transmission problems can strike at any time, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps your customer just got a dud, or maybe they’ve been racing their car (which is more common than you might actually think). Whether the transmission failed because it’s just old and worn out or there’s something else at work, choosing replacement or repair is now necessary. Transmission replacement isn’t as expensive as total engine replacement, but it’s definitely a very real expense. Helping your customer understand their options between remanufactured transmissions vs transmission repair is important here.

Remanufactured Transmissions vs Transmission Repair: The Best Path Forward

Your customer will rely on you for advice and guidance in terms of getting their car back on the road. While there are several options available, two stand out in terms of cost. These are remanufactured transmission and transmission repair. Which is right for your customer?

Transmission repair might seem like the cheapest and simplest way to go – at least for your customer, who won’t have to do the rebuilding or scouting for used transmission for sales. This can be a good option, particularly if the problem isn’t systemic. Repair is also easier when it’s a manual transmission in question rather than an automatic transmission. Before recommending repair, make sure you know exactly what the problem was, whether it caused any additional damage, and have a very good estimate on the time and labor that will be required to repair it.

However, if the transmission is severely damaged or it’s well past its prime, it might be better to offer the choice of remanufactured transmissions. Remanufacturing puts the transmission back into almost new condition – it’s not rebuilding, and it’s not done in a regular shop. All remanufacturing has to take place in a factory setting, where computer guided equipment and transmission experts will tear the transmission down, replace failed clutch packs and gears, resurface all components, replace any worn components and then reassemble the whole thing. After reassembly, the transmission is fully tested in a working environment before being marked as available for sale.

In the end, repair work can cost as much or more than installing a remanufactured transmission, particularly when you factor in your labor rate for repair work. Give your customer accurate information regarding the price of both, as well as how long their vehicle will be out of service (repair work usually takes longer than replacement) and then let them decide which option fits their needs. Either option in terms of remanufactured transmissions vs transmission repair can be the best option depending on the situation, your job is to help the customer make the best decision.