Engine Pro Shop Solutions - January 2018 - Engine Builder Magazine

Engine Pro Shop Solutions – January 2018

I needed to mount this Desoto Hemi from a nostalgia dragster on my align bore machine. It did not line up with any mounting holes on my end plates, so I had to drill new holes - here's the procedure to make sure it's done right.


We had rebuilt a customer’s 5.3L GM engine but they were still complaining of low oil pressure at idle. We sent them a new oil pump, but it still was low, about 17 lbs. at idle. We learned that there was a second oil pressure relief valve in the oil pan, just above the oil filter mount. We had not seen the pan during the rebuild.

They replaced the valve and oil pressure jumped to 30 lbs. Our 2010 5.3L pickup with Active Fuel Management took p/n 12608835. I understand there are additional part numbers for different years and applications.

This part is often overlooked during rebuilds and I’m sure many repairs have been done, when this $10 part was the problem.

Kenny Burns

Harry’s Machine Works

Dodge City, KS


They may all say 352 on the side of the block, but this is how to identify which FE Ford block you actually have. A 352, 390 or 428 is cast in the bottom of the front right side water jacket hole. It’ll take a flashlight, but you’ll see it if you look in the bottom of the water jacket.

Joe Cardoza

Yosemite Machine

Modesto, CA


I needed to mount this Desoto Hemi from a nostalgia dragster on my align bore machine. It did not line up with any mounting holes on my end plates, so I had to drill new holes – here’s the procedure to make sure it’s done right.

Once the block is in close position in relation to the boring bar, I screw in the pointed studs (formerly bolts), then move the plates in. I use a hammer to tap the plates to effectively center punch the plates. Then I drill the plates and mount the block. This method can be used for many other purposes as well, like custom motor plates, etc.

Clay Witt

TPIS Specialties Inc.

Chaska, MN


This jig was made to hold Harley cylinders and torque plates in your Sunnen hone. It allows you to set up cylinders vertically, then pivots for hand-held honing while using honing oil from your hone. It is much faster and safer than holding cylinders by hand.

It locks in the hone bed with the tool rest bar. Cylinders can be installed right side up or inverted if sizing without boring bar first.

Robert Stevens

Rush Machine & Dyno Service

Renfrew, Ontario, Canada


When grinding cranks, I like to know where the thrust, radius or the crank cheek is. Once I clean up that side, a simple paper clamp marks that and is a good guide on how close that surface or radius is when sweeping for final size. It works for me.

Randy Torvinen

Torvinen’s Machine

Manahga, MN


We all need some positive reinforcement from time to time. When talking with your customers about some news that is not necessarily good, you can put a more positive spin on the news without hiding the truth.

Let’s say you are starting an engine build and find out the pistons your customer wants are not immediately available. Consider the following dialogue with the car owner:

Negative: “I can’t get you those pistons until next week; they have to come from the factory.”

Positive: “Those pistons will be available next week. I’ll place the order today and my warehouse will ship them to us straight from the factory.”

Or, maybe you’ve discovered additional repairs are needed to a customer’s block:

Negative: “I’ve got some bad news. You must have overheated the engine at some time in the past – now the main bores will need some additional machine work called align honing.”

Positive: “While we were inspecting your block, we discovered a problem that would affect the life and performance of your engine. The main bores will need to be align honed. This is a sign that the engine may have been severely overheated at some point. We can handle this here in our shop and by bringing things back into spec, you’ll increase the life of the engine and help prevent a potential failure.”

Redirecting conversations using positive words that propose a solution and not assigning blame can make your customer happier and you more profitable.

Steve Rich

Sterling Bearing, Inc.

N. Kansas City, MO

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Engine Builder and Engine Pro present Shop Solutions in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine and at enginebuildermag.com to provide machine shop owners and engine technicians the opportunity to share their knowledge to benefit the entire industry and their own shops. Those who submit Shop Solutions that are published are awarded a prepaid $100 Visa gift card. Submit your Shop Solution at [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 each month’s new entries.

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