Throughout its nearly-100-year history, Cloyes has developed an unmatched product portfolio by bringing industry-leading timing drive system products to life through a disciplined research and development approach.

Founded in 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA by Robert Cloyes, the company started operations when Mr. Cloyes borrowed a drill press and gear-hobbing machine and produced by hand a small quantity of fibre and aluminum timing gears. Carrying them in a market basket, he sold them to a mere handful of automotive parts stores in the Cleveland area. Today, Cloyes, based in Fort Smith, Ark., is the North American leader and a global designer, developer, manufacturer, and distributor of timing drive systems and components for original equipment manufacturers and the automotive aftermarket. Its products are mission critical components for engine performance and function and are used in high-performance and replacement applications. Cloyes backs its products with an unparalleled level of knowledge and experience that dates back nearly a century. This expertise, combined with a clear understanding of today’s technicians and vehicles, enables Cloyes to provide reliable parts and relevant information to the market.


Specialising in rebuilding and servicing the Lotus Carlton, Agamemnon was born out of an ambitious high-speed racing project by BTB Exhausts MD Joe Ellis.

Our visit to BTB Exhausts in Daventry was rather fortuitous because it also gave the opportunity to investigate an associated business, specialising in rebuilding and servicing the Lotus Carlton. Agamemnon was started following the build-up of BTB MD Joe Ellis’s own Lotus Carlton after he discovered the difficulties not only in sourcing parts from Vauxhall dealers, but also paying for them as many components were priced at supercar levels. After competing in a highly modified Vauxhall Nova and developing something of an affinity for the brand, Joe identified the Lotus Carlton not only due to its awesome reputation as a desirable ‘flagship’ road car but also because of his interest in a high-speed road race, the Silver State Classic in Nevada, USA. Joe reasoned that a time-trial race held on mostly straight roads, with competitors setting off at two-minute intervals, would be much less likely to result in wallet-crippling damage than the saloon car door-bashing that he was used to. After dismissing a TVR and a Bentley Turbo R as suitable candidates, the Lotus Carlton’s blend of high power output, efficient aerodynamics, and relatively mundane underpinnings won the decision.


Specialising in custom-made bespoke high-performance exhaust systems in small batches or even as exclusive one-offs, BTB Exhausts also provides a wide range of closely related engineering services.

We tend to think of the engine as just the main unit, concentrating on only the components that are installed under the bonnet, comprising the main engine block, cylinder head, valvetrain, induction system and exhaust manifold etc. But there is another major component that is much more than just an ancillary bolt-on. It’s the exhaust system itself. In fact, so important is this component to the correct operation of the engine that some specialist rebuilders won’t guarantee the full and proper performance unless an approved system is used.The irony here is that there’s a whole industry full of exhaust specialists, ranging from those dealing with cheap standard replacements right up to high-tech high-performance systems. Even within the high-performance aftermarket there is a wide spectrum, from those popular brand names producing large quantities for a great many applications, to the very few who specialise in what are virtually custom-made bespoke designs in small batches or even as exclusive one-offs. Companies like BTB Exhausts, for instance. Based at The Beaver Centre, an industrial estate in Woodford Halse, near Daventry, BTB Exhausts came about after the father of the current MD Joe Ellis had taken over a failing engineering company, with the intention of a rescue bid.


Students at Andover College got their first taste of engine building, hopefully providing the first step towards a long and fruitful career in the industry…

Talk to most old hands in the engine remanufacturing business and you’ll hear ‘man and boy’ stories of years and years spent assimilating a wide range of skills in many different jobs throughout the industry, often involving many moves around the country. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll also hear concerns about what will happen when the current generation of time-served multi-skilled engineers retire and eventually pass on, taking their experience and skills with them, to be lost for ever… All of which makes it all the more important to not only encourage a new generation of engine builders into the business, but also to train them up to full competence as soon as possible. Regardless of what some will say about the future of the internal combustion engine, it will be a great many years yet before we can do without them entirely. In the meantime engines will still need to be rebuilt and maintained, not only for standard transportation but also catering for the highly lucrative industries surrounding classic cars and motorsport. So, what is being done to encourage young blood into the business.


The 2019 Classic Motor Show presented an awesome array of classic and modified cars as well as a great many interesting engines on display…

Bringing together the world’s largest gathering of classic car and motorcycle clubs, with over 3,000 vintage, classic and modified cars and motorbikes on display across eight halls at Birmingham’s NEC, this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, provided an awesome array of exhibits. Staged over three days (November 8-10) it is comparable with events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed in terms of the length and breadth of its content, albeit without the dynamic motorsport element, and always attracts a huge crowd of classic car owners, collectors, enthusiasts and car club members to admire the array of displays. There’s even the opportunity to buy a classic car in The Silverstone Auction area, as well as source parts and tools for maintenance and restoration from various specialist trade stands or the UK’s largest indoor autojumble, tune in to talks from motoring celebrities and specialists, or discuss details with any one of the many hundreds of classic car club members.


Modern-day apprentices were tasked with rebuilding this 1923 3.0-litre Bentley engine, for display purposes…

Anyone interested in engines will undoubtedly admire the complex cutaway versions that are often seen at modern motor shows, many of them motorised and illuminated to show the engine in operation, albeit at considerably lower speeds than normal. But it’s a concept that is far from new, as such cutaways have also been used for educational purposes for many years. Indeed, we recently came across this example on display at the Bentley HQ in Crewe, as part of the company’s centenary year celebrations.  The 3.0-litre four-cylinder engine No. 212 was built by Bentley in 1923, just four years after founder W.O. Bentley created the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world. Little is known about the early history of the engine, other than that it was originally paired with chassis No. 209 and then passed on to an unknown coachbuilder who applied the bodywork. The car would have been driven during the late 1920s, during the heyday when Bentley was enjoying huge racing success at Le Mans.

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Bouland Motors has build a 1/3 scale working model of the Ford Cosworth DFV V8 F1 engine.

In an earlier edition of The Engine Rebuilder we featured what may well be the world’s largest engine ever, the 25,333-litre Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C, weighing 2,300 tons and measuring 89-ft long and 44-ft tall, producing 109,000-hp to power huge container ships across the Pacific Ocean. 

It was only ever meant to be a ‘left-field’ feature to make use of a couple of spare pages but it generated a lot of interest. So, this time we’ll take a look at the other end of the spectrum, with an engine that displaces only 76 cc, is a modest 400 mm in length and weighs just 11 kg. Of course, there are plenty of model engines that are even smaller, and highly detailed in their construction, but the big difference is that this is a fully functional powerplant, running on methanol, that can rev at up to 10,000 rpm. Even more significant is that it is a very accurate rendition of one of the most famous F1 engines of all time, the Cosworth DFV V8. The project is the brainchild of Marcel Bouland, who lives and works in Oirschot, not far from Eindhoven in the Southern Netherlands. On the basis that ‘everyone should have a hobby’ Marcel started collecting working scale model engines, mostly built by enthusiasts with just one or two examples. Marcel takes up the story.


The Editor reports on his personal experience with the Forté Power Clean process, producing tangible benefits on a high-mileage 1.9 TDI engine…

Even without the damage that will inevitably occur from a major trauma like severe overheating or a cambelt failure, there comes a time when any high-mileage engine will become badly worn enough to need reconditioning or rebuilding. In the meantime, though, there is the inevitable slow decline as parts wear and carbon builds up. Fortunately the bad old days when virtually all engines needed a routine de-coke at around 60,000 are long gone. The magic 100,000-mile mark is no longer the kiss of death that it used to be, but there’s no doubt that even with regular servicing most engines will gradually accumulate the deposits of carbon and oily gum that slowly and almost imperceptibly undermine its performance and fuel efficiency. This is especially true of direct-injection petrol and diesel engines, where the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber without the benefit of cleansing the inside of the inlet manifold and the back of the inlet valves, and it’s no wonder that most modern engine designs now use dual injection systems to overcome this problem.


Bucking the obsessive trend towards EV and hybrid, Mazda will be introducing a new super-efficient diesel engine in 2020…

Amongst all the ongoing controversy about diesel emissions and internal combustion engines, with virtually every major manufacturer announcing new initiatives in terms of electric vehicles and hybrids, recent reports suggest that Mazda will launch an innovative diesel engine next year.

Although also investing in electric and plug-in hybrids, Mazda is continuing the development of its diesel and petrol engines apace, with Mazda’s Europe R&D, boss Christian Schultze, declaring that: ‘In 2020, we will have a new approach to diesel engines and we’ll show how clean and very efficient diesel engines can be. We will surprise you next year, as there are not so many differences between petrol and diesel.’

Schultze said Mazda will also consider other powertrain options, as and when they become viable. ‘If we come into an age where sustainable fuels are economically similar, why not use them? We hope governments will wake up and see that electrification is one way, but there are others, too…’


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