One of the main problems with blocks that need to be align-bored is the lack of squish between the main cap and the block. What I am referring to is the interference fit between the cap and main register that holds the cap in alignment, and is the reason a light tap is needed to seat the cap. If the caps do not fit tight, the crank will not be held as solidly as it was intended, and also results in inconsistent bearing clearances.
This lack of squish is reason enough to align bore a block, even if the engine had no previous crankshaft problems, to avoid a future crank issue. (Four bolt small block Chevys are notorious for having loose caps.)
The caps do not fit tight because they have shrunk due to stress. This stress causes them to pull away from the main registers. I have seen some attempted “fixes” where someone has center punched or used a chisel on the block to try to tighten the cap. This does not address the stress issue, and also moves the caps with regards to the centerline of the block. The proper way to restore squish is to remove the stress in the cap, which is where the problem lies.
We do this by peening the cap using an air hammer with a rounded off broken valve guide driver (approx. 1/2″). Work the underside of the cap (where the bearing goes) in the center 1″ to 1 1/2″. The peening action of the air hammer will relieve the stress in the cap, and the sides will spread to their original position. Make sure you do this before you cut the caps, to keep them flat. By using this method you can actually control the amount of squish the caps will have. Yes it will leave some marks on the cap, but they will clean up with the align bore. By using this method the caps fit tight in the registers, the stress has been removed from the caps and the original centerline of the engine can be maintained by align boring.
Grawmondbecks Competition Engines
Mason City, IA
Cleaning Precision Measuring Tools
We have experienced the same problems for years: how to clean honing oil from dial bore gauges and snap gauges before it can gum up and slow the dial readings.
We used to immerse the measuring head up to near the dial in acetone, and gently run the gauge through its entire travel multiple times. This was our preferred method for years, but it is labor intensive.
Acetone is flammable and you also don’t want to get acetone on the dial face as it will frost over immediately. We now simply immerse the measuring head, not the entire unit or dial assembly, into our ultra sonic cleaner. After a minute or so, run it through its range several times while immersed.
If you clean them this way, you can do it every several uses or even once a month (we prefer to clean them all on Monday mornings before we open the shop). We then rinse the ultrasonic juice from the tools in our “final clean” parts washer for a minute or so, then lightly WD-40 the working parts. You don’t want to clean dial veneers, small machinist rulers, or anything else with painted markings in this manner. The paint markings, even if recessed, will disappear in mere seconds!
Tuf-Enuf Auto & Marine Performance
Editors Note: My apologies to Timm Jurincie. In the September issue of EB
Shop Solution “REMOVE THE WEB”, we inadvertently attached the wrong shop name, city and state.
Save Used Head Parts
Our shop does a lot of cylinder head work. We keep several parts from old cylinder heads in marked boxes. Sometimes you lose an odd ball valve lock that no one keeps in stock.
At this point, that box marked “Valve Locks” is worth it’s weight in gold. This saves time waiting on UPS or delivery. Sorting the parts by what engine they came from also saves time later on rummaging through your boxes. If you are servicing dealers or repair shops, you know they don’t want their service bays tied up any longer then necessary. Especially not due to your error.
Satterfield’s Machine Shop
Don’t Underestimate Advertising And Attitude
Every shop needs to advertise because your current customers will someday go away. Getting new customers should be the goal and advertising is one good way to get it.
We have our logo and lettering on our delivery vehicles and from time to time send out a mass mailing of post cards to current and prospective customers. If a customer does not use you for a year or so, they may forget you. Many times, customers call and mention they saw our name on a truck or got a postcard in the mail. That’s money well spent. But don’t forget that the attitude of your drivers and employees can also gain or possibly lose you a customer in a moment.
Have you ever gone to a store or a shop and you either loved it or hated it based solely on the attitude of the people who worked there? If you took your computer to a repair shop and the person at the front counter was negative and had a bad attitude, you might think about going elsewhere.
The work ethics and attitudes of the staff in general will have an impact on customers. Be positive and upbeat with your customers. Teach your drivers and employees to always act professionally and it goes a long way with customers, especially prospective customers. They are the face of your company and some of the best advertising you can have.
MAR Automotive, INC
Engine Pro Technical Committee with thanks to Advantage Engine Parts