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Brake booster valve – ASE practice questions (VIDEO)

Description A customer states the brake pedal falls slightly when the brakes are applied while starting the engine. Technician A says that a faulty brake booster check valve may be to blame. Technician B says this can be caused by a leaking brake booster diaphragm....

The final days (and cars) of AMC

In the last days of AMC, two employees brought a video camera into the Kenosha, Wisconsin plant to document the end of an era. Billy and Danny take a thorough tour of the old AMC buildings and production line, which was producing its last L-body Plymouth Horizons and...

What is a core charge?

The article title is a question I asked when I was a young counterman, and most of you oldtimer mechanics and parts people of course know the story: the core charge is a way to be sure the smoked part makes its way back to the parts counter. A core charge is a deposit...

How do you inspect a serpentine belt for wear?

Performing a visual inspection of a car part is usually the first step in assessing its condition. In the case of the serpentine belt, any sign of physical damage to the belt means the belt should be replaced, and may indicate the need to more closely inspect the...

The importance of testing engine coolant (VIDEO)

How to test for blown fuses in a car or truck | Fast and easy methodDescription Dorman Training Center instructor Pete Meier explains why you should be testing engine coolant on vehicles in your bay. With a simple test strip, you can quickly check the coolant's health...

How to use a refractometer

I used to feel real dumb when I didn’t know what a tool was. After fixing things for a bit, I have come to learn that there are a lot of specialized tools and the only dumb thing is not learning about them. So when Dorman Trainer Pete Meier showed up recently with a...

Transfer cases: Married vs. divorced FAQ (VIDEO)

There is a paucity of divorced transfer cases fitted to vehicles traversing the roadways in 2024. In fact, some technicians—especially younger ones—aren’t even aware a setup beyond the married arrangement exists. If you’re unfamiliar with them, our own Technical...

Watch this video on the invention of the Ford V-8 engine

by | Feb 29, 2024

If you enjoy pioneering developments in automobile history, this video on the development of Ford’s V8 engine is a must-watch. It’s a bit on the long side (a little over an hour), but it’s well worth your time to fully appreciate this revolutionary success in Ford—and automobile—history.

Although Ford’s Model A was hugely successful, by 1931 the market was changing. The stock market crash of 1929 and Chevrolet closing the sales gap with Ford (largely due to Chevy’s six-cylinder engine) were putting Ford on its heels. Henry Ford wanted to regain the market lead by introducing a V8 engine that was affordable to the masses. However, his previous attempt with an X8 was too heavy and complex to work effectively for what he wanted. Ford had been putting V8 engines in Lincoln, but those engines were cast in complex sections. In order to bring down the cost of the V8 engine to make it affordable, he wanted to cast the engine block in one piece.

This led to Ford’s secret V8 engine project that ran from 1931 to 1932. By March 9, 1932, Ford’s first one-piece V8 engine rolled out of production. Although it initially didn’t sell well and the earliest Ford V8s had mechanical problems, by July 1932 Ford was selling three times more V8s than their four-cylinder cars. Watch the video for more on why this was an automotive milestone, how it helped Ford beat the competition yet again, and how it made the flathead V8 synonymous with Ford for the following two decades.

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