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PML Covers
By Larry Edsall

Powertrain hardware's designed to deal with high-performance stresses
Installing a special computer chip into your engine's electronic management system can be a very quick way to boost power and performance. Of course, boost it enough and there can be repercussions. Or maybe we should say "percussions," as in explosions.

"Boys blow things up," David Tolin knows.

"The chip market has been real good for us," adds Tolin, president of PLM Incorporated, an Inglewood, Calif., based company that produces transmission pans and differential and valve covers designed not only to look good, but to deal with enhanced powertrain output.

Tolin admits he benefits because while many shade-tree mechanics may understand the need to enhance engine hardware as a result of enhancing software, they often overlook the additional stress placed, say, on a transmission housing, and thus create business for a company such as PLM.

Tolin founded PLM a little more than five years ago. He had run his own engineering firm, specializing in virtual prototyping, product inspection and digital analysis, functions that increasingly have been sourced in Asia, where so many automotive parts now are manufactured.

So Tolin put his staff and its experience and equipment to work in what had been his hobby, and that of many staffers, so this group of automotive enthusiasts set out to design their own line of pans and covers.

PLM transmission pans and differential covers are oversized enough to hold additional fluid that provides enhanced cooling, and feature magnetic drain plugs to facilitate oil changes. Like those pans and covers, PLM engine valve covers are made from sand-cast aluminum with 0.16-inch thick walls that provide better torsional strength. PLM says the machined gasket flanges on its pans and covers provide better sealing than can be expected from the typical 0.035-inch stamped steel valve cover.

In addition to being sturdy, PLM covers are attractive, with features such as raised script or milled fins.

Prices for valve covers start around $215 per set. Transmission pans start at around $165 and differential covers at $155.

For more information, and a complete list (and pricing) of current applications (and for a list of products under development), visit the PLM website,

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