Click on a thumbnail to see the full-size image
A digital camera and tripod should be part of eve...
Engine Builder Shop Solutions: March 2012
Shop Solutions published in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine are awarded a free one year membership to the Engine Rebuilders Council (ERC) and a prepaid $100 Visa gift card.
Transferring Gaskets For Intake Port Matching
I have found an effective way to transfer the gasket to the intake manifold without losing the “port location.” First, have the completed long block with the heads and its ports finished. Next, do all the pre-fitting of the gaskets and manifolds or “mock-up” work. Make any machining or gasket alterations prior to installation and cleaning.
Then, take very thin blue painters tape and tape the gasket to the head. The idea is to line up the ports, not the bolt holes. You make have to practice doing this a few times to keep the gasket from moving down. In some cases I raise the gasket slightly and then apply the tape.
When you are 100% satisfied with the location, use a magic marker and line the outer edge of the gasket and head. This will let you know if the gasket has dropped.
Use just a small “dot” of weatherstrip adhesive and place it in an open spot on the gasket manifold side. I usually do this just above a bolt hole away from any intake or water ports.
Now bolt the manifold down and torque to proper specs and sequence. Double check your marker lines again to make sure the gasket hasn’t dropped. If it has, start over.
When you are satisfied with your marker lines, take the magic marker once again and put a line on the manifold where you put the small dot of glue, for reference later. Also make marker lines on the outside of the manifold. The idea is to have the manifold bolted to the heads the exact way it will be used when running.
Wait for the glue to set up and then cut the blue painter’s tape with a razor. Unbolt the manifold from the heads and remove it. The gaskets will now be stuck to the manifold. Take the magic marker once again and mark the gaskets left and right.
Now look at the marker lines on the manifold side to make certain that the gaskets didn’t move.
Next take a fine tip marker or sharp awl and mark the ports using the gasket as a template. Be sure not to move or cut the gasket! When finished, take a razor knife at the glued areas and carefully peel the gasket away from the manifold.
You are now ready to port match. After the manifold has been ported and cleaned, it should be ready to install.
Jeff “Beezer” Beseth
Newtown Square, PA
Why You Should Photograph Your Work
A digital camera and tripod should be part of every machinist’s tool kit. A camera can record process steps and be used to help market your work. Digital photographs can be stored on a card, a computer hard drive or in the “cloud.”
Photos can be printed on your own printer, emailed to clients or uploaded to a printing service that can create 5˝ x 7˝ glossy prints. Or, you may assemble your photos in a book or calendar. Here are three reasons for using photography at work:
1) Increase your profit. Many customers, especially those building a performance engine or doing a restoration, will pay for a photo album of their engine build, before, during and after. In today’s hi-tech world it’s easy to upload pictures to an internet service to create an album.
A shop owner I know quotes his performance engine builds offering a photographic record of all machining processes, assembly and dyno testing. He produces a hard-bound album for $19 and is able to add $100 to the overall price of the job.
2) Protect your work. For years, insurance agents have recommended photographing your assets in case of theft. The same concept applies to your shop and its contents. You can also record each function of an engine build to prove that you have actually provided the services billed to the customer.
3) Record process steps for later reference. Every time you work on a new head or block, or an especially complex engine, record your process steps. Store and index the photos in a sub-directory on your computer hard drive.
Using a camera in the shop can be a great asset to any engine builder.
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
Kansas City, MO
Teflon Tape To The Rescue
Everyone uses liquids and compounds where the screw-on tops tend to get stuck to the containers. To keep this from happening, I wrap the threads with Teflon tape. It seals better and you can unscrew the top off without any special effort. Expensive glues and sealants will not dry out a big savings.
Manufacturer Shop Solution: How To Avoid Engine Bearing Failures
Every engine part will eventually wear out. If every part always performed for the full length of its expected life, an engine builder’s job would be fairly simple just replace the parts that have worn. Unfortunately, we cannot always count on an engine part failing just because its normal lifespan is exceeded.
A technician working on a engine must not only be a “parts replacer” but, like a doctor, be able to diagnose “his patient” to determine why a part failed prematurely. Listed below are the eight major causes of premature engine bearing failure, along with the percentage of causes it represents.
It is important to note that in many cases a premature bearing failure is due to a combination of several of the following causes:
Insufficient Lubrication 11.4%
Improper Journal Finish 3.2%
If a technician merely replaces a damaged bearing in an engine without determining the cause of its failure, more than 99% of the time he will be subjecting the replacement bearing to the same circumstances that caused the original failure.
In other words, just as a doctor cannot cure a patient until he or she has determined what ails him, an engine builder cannot correct the cause of premature bearing failure until he finds and corrects what caused the failure in the first place.
MAHLE Clevite, Inc.
Ann Arbor, MI
Engine Builder Shop Solutions is sponsored by Engine Pro,
a group of 9 engine parts specialist WDs operating 30 branch
locations serving engine builders/rebuilders across the U.S. Shop
Solutions published in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine are a free one year membership to the Engine Rebuilders Council and a prepaid $100 Visa gift card. Winners will be chosen by
the staff of Engine Builder Magazine and the Engine Pro Technical
To submit a Shop Solution simply mail your entry
to Engine Builder Magazine, Shop Solutions, 3550 Embassy Parkway,
Akron, OH 44333; or email to Shop Solutions@enginebuildermag.com. Shop
Solutions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You must include
your name, shop name, shop address and shop telephone number. Submitted
Shop Solutions not published will be kept on file and reevaluated for
publication with each month’s new entries. If you include your email
address you will be emailed notification of publication if your Shop
Solution is chosen.