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AERA Technical Bulletins – April 13, 2022



Cylinder Head Bolt Caution on Caterpillar 3500 Series Engines


The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information concerning a head bolt caution for Caterpillar 3500 series engines. This information applies to all versions of their diesel and natural gas engines.


It’s been reported that service parts inadvertently made inappropriate head bolt parts substitutions. Unfortunately, the substitution was with an inferior bolt quality and may not provide a lasting repair. Dimensionally, the 12 point 8.5” (215.900 mm) bolt was adequate, but the material quality is not for these engine applications.




Thicker Head Gasket Option for 2002-2008 Mini Cooper 1.6L W11 Engines


The AERA Technical Department offers the following information regarding an additional thickness head gasket for 2002-2008 Mini Cooper 1.6L W11 engines. This information should be considered any time the cylinder head is removed from above subject engines.


Before removing the cylinder head, loosen and re-torque each head bolt to ensure thread strength and integrity. There have been many instances of stripped head bolt hole threads in these aluminum cylinder blocks. Determining a complete repair during teardown is well advised rather than finding out during assembly procedures.




Duramax Head Gasket Sealing


By Brian Roberts


The GM 6.6L Duramax diesel engine has been a popular choice for truck owners over the last 18 years. Several versions have evolved since its inception and the head gaskets have evolved too, leading to some confusion on proper selection. Given that the average book time for replacing head gaskets is around 36-40 hours, you want to ensure that you have the best possible chance for success in sealing to avoid re-doing this very labor-intensive repair. This book time does not consider any machining or overhaul labor that might also be required.




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Podcast Episode 16

API Engine Oils


Chuck Lynch and Dave Hagen interview Jeff Harmening from the American Petroleum Institute (API). Jeff explains licensing of engine oils, proper storage and handling, engine oil specifications, diesel engine oils, and what should engine builders expect with new engine oils. Steve and Chuck also discuss the Ford Flathead V8 engine during the history segment of the podcast. They also let you know about the upcoming AERA Regional Tech & Skills Conferences.




AERA Tech & Skills Conferences


Everyone in business owes it to themselves and their business to gain knowledge and network with other people within the same industry. AERA understands that traveling to national trade shows to gain knowledge and networking opportunities is very expensive. Therefore, AERA has decided to help by teaming up with a regional host and offer these opportunities to different regions of our country and hopefully closer to your shop. All shops welcome! Need not be an AERA member to attend.




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