Engine Shop: Modified Spark Plug Sockets

Shop Solutions – December 2017

It can be much easier to install and remove spark plugs, when space is tight due to header configuration by notching out one section of a spark plug socket. This will allow for a better angle, and you can still use the hex head rather than a ratchet drive.

PLUG THOSE HOLES

When I only have only one torque plate I’ll plug the holes on the other side of the block with foam earplugs. They do a great job of keeping honing oil out of these holes. This way, when I change my plate to the other side, the oil or thread lube isn’t mixing with honing oil in these bolt holes.

Randy Torvinen

Torvinen’s Machine

Manahga, MN

BOOST YOUR IMPACT

In our shop we machine cylinder heads and rebuild turbos. Every once in a while we might find a nut that has seized up on a bolt. And of course no one has time for a penetrating oil to set in. So when we need that little extra kick of juice in our pneumatic impact guns, we put 10 to 12 drops of oil in the air line. The oil, blown through the gun, seals off more of the air chamber than just the fins. The oil blows out and everything goes back to stock, usually with a nut broken free.

Dave Cannon

Diesel Air Systems

Jacksonville, FL

LASHING OUT

When adjusting valve lash on a DOHC Honda cylinder head with oil rails above the camshafts, remove the rails and use a thick nut that the cap bolt will pass through to bolt down the cams. Now you have more room to maneuver your feeler gauges.

Ronnie Myers

MAR Automotive

Philadelphia

MODIFIED PLUG SOCKET

It can be much easier to install and remove spark plugs, when space is tight due to header configuration by notching out one section of a spark plug socket. This will allow for a better angle, and you can still use the hex head rather than a ratchet drive. While there are special notched sockets available, this is a good solution when you don’t want to spend the money or delay your progress while waiting to order one.

Nick Blanck

COMP Performance Group

Memphis, TN

CLEANING INTAKE PORTS

After porting an intake manifold or a set of heads, there is going to be quite a bit of sand, aluminum and other things in the port. It is very important that all of this debris gets cleaned out before assembling the engine. An easy and effective tool for doing this is a cup brush like you can buy to wash your dishes in your kitchen at home. These brushes can reach deep into tight places that would otherwise be difficult to clean.

Ben Hoitink

Hughes Engines

Washington, IL

COLD WEATHER COOLANT TIPS

With wintertime temperatures approaching, now is the time to ensure that your diesel engine coolant/antifreeze is up to the task and staying in its liquid form. Everyone has a hydrometer or refractometer, and they’re easy to use. The question now is, “What goes in there if you need to add coolant?”

There are a number of coolants available for heavy-duty diesel engine applications on the market today. What sets them apart from your average “Yellow Jug” is the presence of “Supplemental Coolant Additives” or SCAs. These SCAs are either Borate/Nitrate or Phosphate/Molybdate based chemical additions to the basic coolant. These two types of SCAs are not compatible with each other, and this is the main reason that you should match the type of antifreeze when “topping off.”      

These SCAs do two things:

1. They lower the surface tension of the coolant. This is intended to decrease the likelihood that small bubbles will form near the surface of the cylinder liners causing cavitation erosion.

2. The mixture continually tries to adhere to the surface of anything it comes in contact with. This also reduces the chances that cavitation erosion can happen and it protects the rest of the cooling system from corrosion.

Engine Pro Technical Committee with special thanks to Reliance Power Parts

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