Engine Builder Shop Solutions: December 2011 - Engine Builder Magazine

Engine Builder Shop Solutions: December 2011

Avoiding Hydraulic Timing Chain Tensioner Trouble

Be certain to carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommended torque settings when installing hydraulic (oil pressure fed) timing chain tensioners.  Over tightening the tensioner can result in distortion of the tensioner piston bore, which in turn can cause the piston to bind up in the bore instead of doing its job putting tension on the timing chain.  Result?  Failure of the timing system.

Ron McKey

The Per-Fit Corporation

Grand Rapids, MI


Benefits of Digital Versus Analog Gauging

Like phones and computers, today’s digital gauging offers greatly improved performance, better displays, less power consumption and more data user capabilities. Modern digital indicators are not only smaller, more portable, and better able to withstand the rigors of a shop environment, but also less expensive.

Today’s digital indicators incorporate a range of dynamic measurement capabilities that used to be available only in higher end devices. These include Minimum (Min.), Maximum (Max.) and Total Indicator Reading (TIR) functions. The indicator “remembers” the highest and lowest points measured on a part and displays either or both of them, or it can subtract the Min. from the Max. to calculate the TIR.

These measurements are useful when gauging round parts in a V-block fixture, for example, or measuring the height of a flat surface.  The operator can quickly turn a shaft through a complete revolution, or move a flat part around under the gauge head without pausing to read the display.  When manipulation of the workpiece is complete, the operator may select to display the Max. or Min. I.D., O.D., height, depth or runout.

Other advanced functions can speed gauging setups. The “auto-zero” function, for example, is the electronic equivalent of the rotating bezel on mechanical dial indicators. The operator brings the gage head into rough contact with the master and simply zeroes the gauge.  This eliminates the need for ultra-careful positioning of the gauge head.

Data from each digital device can be sent to a computer.  There, the data can be easily combined in many ways to create graphs, charts and trends. Digital indicators may not be the end-all replacement to analog gauging, but with the capabilities currently available, they are certainly worth a look.

Jim Kovach

Kovach & Associates

Performance Engine Building

Parma, OH


Installing Seals in Jesel Belt Systems

Have you ever ruined a new cam or crank seal for a Jesel belt drive system?  Want to know a great way to put them in? If you have a Sunnen style piston press and a round flat block of aluminum it can be very easy.

Take the cover or retainer plate and place it on the Sunnen press. Make sure it is flat and supported evenly. Put the seal into place.  Put your block of aluminum on the seal, and press away.

Good eye-hand coordination is required. How do you think Jesel does it?

Jeff “Beezer” Beseth

BeezerBuilt, Inc.

Newton Square, PA


How to Maximize Your Machine Tool Coolant

When changing the coolant in your valve grinder or honing machine, don’t just send the used honing oil to the recycler. Recycle it yourself! Pump it all into gallon buckets and let it sit.  When you are ready to top off or change the coolant, all the sediment will have settled and you can safely pour off the “like new” coolant from the top of the bucket.

Jeffrey Myers

MAR Automotive, Inc.

Philadelphia, PA


Removing Lifters From Ford 4.0L Engine

When the center of the lifter pulls out, the easiest way I’ve found to remove the lower outerbody of the lifter is to remove the springs and valves.  Then slide a wide, flat headed screwdriver under the lifter and twist the screwdriver to raise the lifter high enough to grab with visegrips.

Arus Kinney

Austin Jordan Engines

Wyoming, MI


Manufacturer Shop Solution: An Engine Builder’s Eight Deadly Sins

We wouldn’t call engine builders a bunch of sinners but here are some things that may lead to comebacks:

1.  Lack of engine cleanliness

2.  Rough or imperfect bore entrance chamfers

3.  Burr on bottom of bore

4.  Poor cylinder bore finish

5.  Spiraling rings manually onto piston

6.  Excessively opening ring manually onto piston

7.  Not using or improperly using ring compressor

8.  Using damaged piston (dents, groove damage, etc.)


Technical Department

Hastings Manufacturing Co.

Hastings, 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.
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 [email protected]. Shop
Solutions may also be
emailed to [email protected].

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.


You May Also Like

Shop Solutions July 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.


To precisely shorten bolts in the lathe, I made slotted collets for each bolt diameter. They are fractional in length to measure off the end, so you know where to cut for your length. I’ve used large O.D. valve guides and aluminum round stock. Just make the collet big enough to clear the bolt flange, hex or socket head.

Shop Solutions June 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

May Shop Solutions 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

April Shop Solutions 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions March 2023

If I’m not using torque plates, I tape up both sides and trim out the bores. I use painter’s tape, which comes off easily and doesn’t leave any glue residue. I get much less oil in the spray washer this way.

Other Posts

Shop Solutions February 2023

Check out February’s shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions January 2023

Next time you have set of large journal small block Chevy connecting rods to resize, consider honing the big ends of them for a +.002” outside diameter bearing that the LS engines with fracture cap rods use.

Shop Solutions December 2022

Everyone misses occasionally, and this helps avoid dents and damage.

November 2022 Shop Solutions

November tricks and tips for the shop!