RockAuto October Newsletter | Early Edition
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Another Happy Customer!
Another Happy Customer!

This is an awesome company! The website's interface is incredibly simple and quick to use. No need to skip through 87 prompts and search for 15 minutes for a single part like many other parts store websites...

Duncan in New Mexico

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Need goody bag items and a gift certificate for your show? RockAuto can help! Email for more information.

13 Low Down in Dub Town
Hazel Green, AL Email
13 OTC Car & Motorcycle Show
Springfield, MO Email
13 4th Annual Cars For Kids Show & Shine
Danville, PA Email
13 Quattroberfest 2018 (HPDE)
Brainerd, MN Email
13 Dundee Fall Car Show
Dundee, WI Email
13 Murrieta Rod Run
Murrieta, CA Email
13 Ratrodtober Car & Bike Show
Mckinney, TX Email
13 2018 Homecoming Car Show
Daytona Beach, FL Email
14 Oak Harbor Apple Festival Car Show
Oak Harbor, OH Email
14 Pete Paulsen's 29th Annual Hot Rod Party
French Camp, CA Email
19 Jeeptoberfest
Belleview, FL Email
20 Kentucky Railway Museum Car Show
New Haven, KY Email
20 Osceola Car & Truck Show
Osceola, AR Email
20 Secret Santa Car Show
Oakwood, GA Email
20 Westlake Classic Car Show
Westlake, TX Email
20 Mascoutah Fall Fest Car Show
Mascoutah, IL Email
20 Scarecrow Cruise & Car Show
Madison, MS Email
20 Bristol Day Car Show
Bristol, PA Email
20 Thunder in the Desert
buckeye, AZ Email
21 The Outkasts Car Club
Mitchell, SD Email
21 VW Harvest Car Show
Austin, TX Email
21 All British Motor Show
Danville, CA Email
26 Spook Rally 2018
Phoenix, AZ Email
27 Cars 4 Kids
Fairfield, OH Email
27 2018 Tickey Creek Tour
Gainsville, TX Email
EXCel Drivetrain Parts
See what we have from Richmond
Excel Drivetrain Parts

Richmond drivetrain parts have been keeping vehicles on the road and helping race teams win at the track for over 80 years! RockAuto now carries Richmond's EXCel line of Axle Shafts, Differential Bearing/Seal Kits, Differential Carriers and Differential Gears.

EXCel's Axle Shafts come complete with axle shaft, bearing, seals and studs. They are up to 30% stronger than OE axles. 1541H steel and computer controlled heat treating help maximize durability.

EXCel Differential Bearing/Seal Kits are complete to ensure you have both the large and small parts needed for a successful installation. EXCel uses high-quality KOYO bearings and carriers made of 8620 steel for strength and durability. Open and posi-traction/limited slip installation kits are available.

Whether you need a Differential Gear set for a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, Axle Shafts for a 2002 Chevrolet S10 pickup, a Differential Carrier for a 2006 Cadillac Escalade, or a complete Differential Bearing/Seal Kit for a 2014 Ford Expedition, Richmond’s EXCel line offers a solution. Find the Richmond EXCel parts you need for your specific car or truck in the “Drivetrain” category of the RockAuto catalog, all at RockAuto's reliably low prices!

Autoline Fuel Injector Instant Rebate
See what we have from Autoline
Autoline Instant Rebate

During October 2018, AutoLine Products is offering RockAuto customers an Exclusive 10% Instant Rebate on select fuel injectors. Since the 1960s, AutoLine has specialized in remanufacturing crucial fuel system parts. They make carburetors, throttle bodies and fuel injectors like new or better than new using modern processes and materials. RockAuto has Autoline fuel injectors for everything from a '79 Toyota Celica, to a '95 diesel-powered Chevy pickup, to a '05 BMW 525i, to a '17 Ford Explorer.

The AutoLine October rebate is instant. While shopping, put the select AutoLine parts in your cart to immediately save 10% off RockAuto's already reliably low prices. Go to the Promotions and Rebates page to see details for all the current rebates.

View all Current Promotions & Manufacturer Rebates
Forum of the Month

Do you drive an Acura MDX? If so, is a resource center you should visit. All three generations (2001-Present) of the popular Acura three-row crossover are well represented in this ever growing forum. From Technical Service Bulletins, to discussions on common issues, to just sharing how many miles you have on your MDX, this friendly forum can probably help answer any MDX question you may have.

If you are the administrator or member of a forum and you would like to see your website featured in an upcoming newsletter and receive a discount code to share with your members, contact

Repair Mistakes & Blunders
Repair Mistakes & Blunders

Back in the '70s, friend "Bob" and I decided to drop in on friend "Dave." When we arrived, Dave was at his work bench taking apart the carburetor of his Ford LTD. In the carb business, many say that "everybody blames the carburetor first," so we asked Dave what the problem was, and he said the car would not start. We then asked if he had checked for spark. A bit sheepishly, he said he had not. Bob and I immediately sprang into action.

Bob went to check the spark at the plugs, while I jumped in to crank the engine on command. When Bob gave me the nod, I hit the ignition, and imagine the surprise on all three of our faces when the engine roared to life, with no carburetor and fully unthrottled! The open fuel line pumped fuel directly into the manifold and the engine took off unfettered.

Well, it turned out that the problem was the carburetor. Our lesson that day was to pay attention to open fuel lines!

Alan in Florida

Tell us about your most infamous auto repair blunder or unconventional fix. Use your woe to help others avoid similar mistakes or share off-the-wall solutions that worked (at least for a while!). Please email your story to Include your mailing address and if you would like a RockAuto T-Shirt (please let us know your shirt size) or Hat if we publish your story. See the T-Shirts and Hats under Tools & Universal Parts in the catalog. The story will be credited using only your first name and your vague geographic location (state, province, country, continent, etc.) so you can remain semi-anonymous!

Automotive Trivia
Automotive Trivia

Which car manufacturer is long gone, but its name still graces one of the largest hospital/health insurance providers in the United States?

A. Hudson Motor Car Company
B. Kaiser Motors
C. Packard

Answer below

Valve Stem Seals
Tom's Story

I am going to install a new set of valve cover gaskets on the 360 in my '79 Chrysler 300 (Cordoba). While I have the valve covers off, I am going to also replace the valve stem seals. The original seals have likely crumbled to pieces after years of heat, exposure to oil and wear. There is a puff of blue exhaust smoke when the engine is first started, a symptom of leaking or missing valve stem seals. New valve seals will allow oil to lubricate the valve stems and valve guides but help prevent excessive oil consumption and carbon buildup. Seeing all RockAuto's valve stem seal choices, I researched the vocabulary manufacturers use to describe their valve stem seals.

There are two common types of valve stem seals. The first type is called umbrella, shedder or deflector. These valve seals move up and down with the valve stem and are common on older engines.

The second type of valve stem seal is called "positive." Positive type valve seals stay fixed at the top of the valve guide and wipe off excess oil as the valve stem slides through the seal. On some engine heads, OE umbrella type seals can be replaced with positive type seals, but some head designs may require machining.

Manufacturers often advertise the materials they use in their valve stem seals. I cannot make sweeping statements about one material being superior to another in all circumstances. Some materials may make better gaskets, but a valve seal is not supposed to seal like a gasket. Some oil needs to slip by to lubricate the valve stem and guide. There may be enhanced versions of materials that can make them better for use in certain applications. For example, hydrogenated nitrile rubber resists high temperatures better than non-hydrogenated nitrile rubber. Fluorosilicone resists chemicals better than plain silicone.

Polyacrylate, Viton  & Silicone
Polyacrylate (top), Viton & Silicone
valve stem seals with "garter springs"

Here is some general information about common materials manufacturers draw attention to:

  • Polyacrylate, nitrile and fluoroelastomer are all synthetic rubbers resistant to heat and oil. Viton™ is the brand name for a line of fluoroelastomers optimized for specific applications.
  • PTFE, branded Teflon™, is resistant to extreme temperatures, almost all chemicals (including oil) and abrasion. It is typically less able to retain its shape if deformed during installation or use.
  • Nylon has a low coefficient of friction, high strength, is abrasion resistant and resists chemicals. It may be less able to withstand extreme heat.
  • Silicone withstands extreme temperatures, retains its shape and resists oxidation and ozone. It may be less resistant to abrasion.

A valve stem seal is really a complete design rather than one material. A design might use different materials for the main body of the seal and the "lips" that actually contact the valve stem. Some designs use a "garter spring" to tension the seal opening so it maintains the correct amount of interference with a wider range of valve stem diameters. Some valve seal designs use metal cladding to protect the valve seal and help maintain its shape.

The great news is that especially for an old engine like mine, all of RockAuto's valve seal choices use modern materials and/or designs that are better than new OE seals and infinitely better than used-up crumbling OE seals! Find valve stem seals and tools (valve spring compressors, valve holders, etc.) under "Engine" for specific vehicles and in the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab.

Tom Taylor,

To read more of Tom's articles, click this link and choose from story titles on the Newsletter Archives page.

Brent's 1952 DeSoto Firedome
Brent's 1952 DeSoto Firedome

This is my 1952 DeSoto Firedome. The DeSoto was a car made by Chrysler Corporation from 1928 through 1961, and positioned between the Chrysler and Dodge in the Chrysler product line-up.

I bought this DeSoto in 1980 from a lady in eastern Oregon who was insistent that if I buy the car it should not be "hot rodded." She and her husband had traveled all over the western U.S. and Canada in the car. It still has a 1956 Canada National Parks sticker in the front window to prove it!

After I bought the car, I drove it cross-country to Michigan. I have owned the car ever since, but in 2015, I had to recondition much of the chassis which was suffering a lot of age related failures. I also rebuilt the engine, the brakes and some of the power steering and electrical system. You would think that with a car of this age, parts would not even be listed, but RockAuto had a surprisingly complete parts listing for it! I was able to find piston rings, brake cylinders, belts and all the ignition parts. Also refreshingly surprising were the parts under "Tools & Universal Parts" where I was able to find bulk spark plug wire, terminals and even the pliers to crimp them on! Not to mention the comb to straighten the radiator fins!

I have nicknamed the car Millie after the lady I bought it from. I am sure she would be happy to see her beloved DeSoto still humming along on road trips and going to car shows.

Brent in Michigan

P.S. For the gearheads I have included a photo of the engine compartment showing the original DeSoto Hemi engine in all its factory stock glory. Notice the power steering pump on the back of the generator that does not leak oil anymore because RockAuto had the oil seal for the input shaft!

Power steering pump on the back of the generator

Share Your Hard Work
Do you purchase parts from RockAuto? If so, RockAuto would like to give you the opportunity to have your car or truck possibly featured in one (or occasionally more) of our publications such as the monthly newsletter, collector magnets, RockAuto social media or other commercial use. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please email with your vehicle's history, interesting details, your favorite images (tips for taking pictures of your car) and what parts from RockAuto you have used.

Automotive Trivia Answer
Automotive Trivia

Which car manufacturer is long gone, but its name still graces one of the largest hospital/health insurance providers in the United States?

A. Hudson Motor Car Company
Answer: B. Kaiser Motors (Henry J. Kaiser was the industrialist who backed everything from Kaiser Motors, to Kaiser Permanente health care, to construction of Grand Coulee Dam.)
C. Packard

Back up to trivia question