Shop Solutions March 2015 - Engine Builder Magazine
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Shop Solutions March 2015

Here’s a simple time saver for assembling high performance V8/V6 engines. When intake gasket port alignment is critical, use masking tape to hold the gasket in place on the head. You can then flip the gasket up to apply your sealer.


Muscle in the Office Can Mean Better Cash Flow

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Cash flow is a vital part of every business…let’s get better at it.

• Cover yourself along with your business. Fill out a work order (if you don’t have one, create one). You want it to show: Customer information and the work the customer wants done, parts & labor, estimate.

Have a specified time frame on pick-up of product after work is done. And no pick-up unless paid in full. State what happens to the abandoned job if your customer doesn’t pay and pick-up. Get the customer’s signature along with a deposit to cover the parts portion of the job, so you can discount with your vendors. Profit!


Some collection reminders: (Yes, you are collections for your business too!)

• Don’t get mad & don’t take it personal.

• Don’t ever feel bad placing collection calls; it’s your work and your money. You were hired to do a job – you kept your part of the agreement and your customer agreed to pay.

• Always log your call dates onto the work order along with notes.

• Try to get an exact date when the customer will be in, don’t accept “I’ll be in soon.” If the customer doesn’t show, keep contacting on a regular basis. (The squeaky wheel gets the grease, or the money in this case.)


• Always be professional, this is your business and reputation.

Muscle in the Office…an important part of every shop.

Vonda Floyd

Sterling Bearing

torv serdi tool #2Kansas City, MO


Getting to the Point

Trying to set up Serdi seat facing cutters with valves that have undercut stems can be difficult. Use a valve guide the same size as your valve stem and clamp the setup pointer on it. That way it will bridge the undercut stem. And it will slide on the pilot with your tool holder to set up the cutter the same way. It has worked on my Sunnen tooling also and should work on most.


Randy Torvinen

Torvinen’s Machine

Menahga, MN


Remove Oil Galley Plugs After Blasting

torv serdi tool pointMost aluminum OHC heads have some oil galley plugs. Remove these plugs when rebuilding and blasting the heads with glass bead. When you remove the plugs after glass beading you will find that the glass bead will be clumped up behind the plug in the oil that did not get washed out.

Sometimes these plugs can be stubborn to remove, so in that case use a propane torch to heat the plugs. They will come out very easy.


Ronnie Myers

MAR Automotive, INC



Reduce Broken VW Valve Tips

A Volkswagon 1.8L turbo 20-valve cylinder head can be found in most shops across the country. Due to broken timing belts, new valves are often needed. If a valve tip breaks off at the keeper groove after re-installation, it is not the fault of the valve. If the hydraulic valve adjuster is not completely compressed and all oil removed from the chamber, valve breakage at the tip will occur. Most tech manuals state that the adjuster should be completely collapsed and allowed to drain for at least a full 24 hours.


Patrick Paulsen

Laughlin Machine

Laughlin, NV


VIN In Doubt, You’ll Get The Wrong Part

Tired of getting the wrong parts? Give the wrong info to a parts person and chances are you’ll get the wrong parts. It is imperative when ordering parts for a late model application that you know the year, make, model, engine size and the eighth digit of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This cannot be overstated. Car “model” is important today. Most manufacturers are using online cataloging which requires this input.


Marion Morrison

Duke Machine

Jake Sampson 2Winterset, IA


A Little Tape Saves Time

Here’s a simple time saver for assembling high performance V8/V6 engines. When intake gasket port alignment is critical, I use masking tape to hold the gasket in place on the head. You can then flip the gasket up to apply your sealer, rotate it back down, apply any sealer needed to the top of the gasket or on the end rails of the block and drop the intake manifold into place. Try to tape a spot on the intake gasket that won’t be covered by the manifold so that once the manifold is holding the gasket down and the bolts are snug you can simply peel the masking tape off.


Jake Sampson

Jake SampsonSampson Racing Engines

Inver Grove Heights, MN

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