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Podcast Interviews

Rebuilding Diesel Engines in 2021 and Beyond…

Learn why it is important to keep up with the changing standards of heavy-duty diesel engines.

Episode 90: In this episode, we discuss rebuilding diesel engines. Tony Aboufawaz is the VP of AFA Industries, and he talks to us about how diesel engines have advanced over the last two decades, what it takes to rebuild engines in 2021, and how AFA Industries have been able to adapt to the changing times.

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Diesel Engine Advancements

Over the last few years there have been many advances in diesel engines. Since they raised the cylinder pressures and temperatures, piston technology has changed. Manufacturing pistons out of forged steel was necessary for the pistons to be able to withstand the much higher pressures and temperatures.

Over the last two decades, the use of more electronics in diesel engines has been growing. We see more sensors and CPUs than ever before. Even fuel injectors have changed from mechanical, to electronic, to better control the fuel injection into the combustion chambers. The biggest change we’ve seen though, in the last two decades is the implementation of emission regulations, and aftertreatment parts. DPFs for one has added complexity to ensure emissions are cleaner, which has changed the exhaust systems on commercial vehicles.

These advancements in technology have created some benefits for fleets, drivers, owners, and repair shops. However, with the increase of technology comes complexity and this has implications on the heavy-duty parts decisions’ fleets make.

Engine Rebuilding in 2021

Tolerances are much more critical because of the higher pressures and temperatures of diesel engines today.

“In the past mechanics could get away without checking liner protrusions. Whereas today, the tolerances are much more critical due to new cylinder head gasket designs, and sealing the combustion firings,” said Tony Aboufawaz the VP of AFA Industries.

In the past, most of the parts were made from cast iron, whereas today the block could be cast iron, the cylinder head has all sorts of different types of materials, and each of those materials react differently to temperatures and the environment. Today, if all of the tolerances aren’t checking out, there is a huge risk of head gasket, or liner failure.

When it comes to rebuilding engines in 2021, repair shops need to get up to speed with training, because every engine has different requirements of how to install new parts, and the procedures they must take to have a successful rebuild. Without the proper training, there is a huge risk of engine failure. Keeping up with the needs of a modern diesel engine is essential for rebuilders to stay in the game.

Navigating the Everchanging Advancements

“We have to keep up with the new technologies. The core of AFA is our engineering, everything starts with our engineering capabilities. So, our engineers must be up to speed with the latest technologies, materials, and manufacturing best practices,” said Aboufawaz.

To be able to put out high-quality products that meet or exceed OEM specifications, it takes hard work. Effort goes into not only keeping up with the changing trends that are taking place within the industry but also to be able to understand the complexity of these parts and to manufacture parts that meet but ideally are above OEM specifications.


AFA started in 1986 as a gasket manufacturer, so gasket manufacturing is their core. However, when they expanded to cover more areas of the engine, the same high standards that they set for their gaskets traveled over to all of their other parts. Today, AFA Industries has a very broad spectrum of parts for the heavy-duty parts industry. With AFA Industries, no shortcuts are taken when it comes to their parts.

Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission. 


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