Engine Builder Shop Solutions: February 2010 - Engine Builder Magazine

Engine Builder Shop Solutions: February 2010

Cummins 5.9L, M251 Pump Installation Tip

There is the new instruction sheet for the M251 Cummins pump (Cummins 5.9L 1989-2007), M350 & M351 Cummins pumps (Cummins 5.9L 1986-1998). The pump looks simple enough to install, however, don’t be in a hurry. If the proper procedure is not followed the gears may bind causing engine damage.

After correct procedure is followed rotate the crank, checking the gear backlash in three places.

George Richmond

Technical Services Manager

ASE Master Automotive Technician

Double Shot Peening  Performance Valve Springs

A good way to eliminate high rpm valve spring failure is to use a process called “double shot peen.” This is a process used in aircraft and aerospace manufacturing – there is a MIL Spec. for this but I’m not sure what it is. I was involved in aircraft blade and vane manufacture in one of my previous jobs where this was used.  

Anyway, the procedure is to shot peen the valve spring (or any highly stressed part) until the surface is completely peened (visual) and note the amount of time it took to accomplish this “first visual” step. Then repeat the peening process for the same amount of time – you now have a double peened part that will withstand considerably more stress (at least 50 percent). I have used this along with a cryogenic treatment process in all my high performance engines and have never had a valve spring failure.

Jim Kovach

Kovach & Assoc. Performance Engine Building

Parma, Ohio


Up Front Deposit Formula

Who hasn’t at one time said, “I can’t pay because I’m waiting for people to come pick up their engines?” This is the classic case of not asking for enough money up front. There are many reasons someone might not ask for a big enough deposit. One reason is the fear factor; the fear you will scare the customer away with too large of a deposit.

Don’t be afraid to ask the customer for money up front. The customer is asking you for money by not providing it. There’s also the “good customer” factor; you may treat them with leniency knowing they have paid you in the past, but even good customers can have financial problems. Then there’s the buddy factor; friendship can be your worst financial enemy. If charity is your bag, check out employment options with Salvation Army.

I’m not suggesting you mistreat your customers, or friends, but the money has to come from somewhere, and “somewhere” is usually your pocket.

Here is my deposit formula – it’s short and sweet. Get 100 percent deposit on all parts needed for the job (mandatory) and 50 percent deposit for the labor (optional). This will eliminate all of the heartbreak associated with not getting the money up front.

Ray Goebel

Engine Rebuilders Warehouse

Dania Beach, FL


Sizing Connecting Rods

I have a small shop and don’t have a lot of money for expensive machinery so I do things the old fashioned way. Most of my engines are race or vintage stuff so I encounter bushed rods a lot. Many bushings even after broaching or burnishing require substantial honing to size and as a result may not be parallel when checked after honing.

A simple trick I do is to machine a “tool,” usually from a round aluminum scrap, to the exact size of the big end bore 3? long and install 2 rods on it. Snug the bolts gently to allow the rods to align themselves on the hone and hone them as a pair on a well dressed long arbor. When you are within a couple tenths of finish size, separate and finish individually. When checked after finishing this way the rods are usually perfectly square and parallel.

Danny O’Day

Windup Pickup Enterprises, Inc.




Removing Valve Seat Inserts from Cast Iron Cylinder Heads

If it is necessary to remove an existing valve seat insert in a cast iron cylinder head without damaging the already machined area in the head, use the following procedure.

Using a welding tip from an oxy-acetylene welder, heat the existing seat to a cherry red around its complete diameter. As it cools, it will shrink in diameter and will literally fall out of the head leaving no damage to the cast iron.

Bob Mitchell

Engine Pro Tech. Committee


Correction: Variable Valve Timing Service

Last month’s Shop Solutions bulletin about servicing today’s modern variable valve timing systems (VVT), (Jan.  2010 Engine Builder, page 13) was incorrectly attributed to the wrong contributor. In fact, the contributor who sent this tip to us is Stan Norvile from Rocky Mountain Machine Co., Colo. Springs, CO. We regret the error. –Ed.


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