Engine Pro Shop Solutions - September 2018 - Engine Builder Magazine

Engine Pro Shop Solutions – September 2018


Sometimes it is just the little details that add up – and cleaning is key!

Taking the time to use a little ATF to wipe your new piston rings down before assembly can help keep dirt and debris out of your new engine. Multiply this by the number of parts that go into an engine and you can see that keeping things as clean as possible really comes down to the details.

Erik Koenig

HorsePower Research

McKinney, TX


To repair a set of heads that had been threaded and tapped for screw-in studs required some innovation. We could not use a shouldered hex stud or guides plates, and whoever had worked on these heads before had tapped the heads with a bad tap and the studs were loose in the holes. The solution? I locked the studs in with set screws.

I removed the studs and set up the cylinder head in my head shop to drill the stud bosses on the intake side of the head. The holes were threaded and set screws were locked down on the reinstalled studs. They aren’t going anywhere now.

This trick can be used to lock down any stud where you have access to the side of the stud boss or housing.

Darrin Anderson

Sterling Bearing

N. Kansas City, MO


A quick way to center up crankshaft bobweights is to use a piece of round aluminum rod, machined to half the difference of the widths of the weight and the journal.

Use the aluminum rod to space one side up and snug it on both sides of the bobweight. That centers it right up on the journal and it’s quicker than using a dial caliper. Simply make different standards for each journal width.

Ron Flood

Cedar Machine Service

North Branch, MN


When I mount pistons onto press-fit rods I set my mounting fixture so I get them perfectly centered. But setting the mounting fixture on tapered pin boss pistons is harder to get right. Here’s my solution.

I took an old rod and honed the small end until the press pin slips through. Next, I cut the rod in half and cut a slot through the rod, as you see in the picture. Using a triangle file, create a chamfer at the parting line so you are not scratching the pin. Now you can just squeeze the end of the rod to lock it in place so you can set the pin fixture just right.

Dave Matton

D and D Machine

Bloomington, MN


I got tired of plastic screw-on caps for sealant or lubricants splitting, causing the product to dry out or go bad or leaking on my bench or in my toolbox. So I use a piece of heat shrink tubing to keep the split cap together or prevent new caps from splitting.

Will Samples

S&S Imports



We’re selling lots of new bare castings these days because of overheated, cracked heads. Once a cylinder head leaves your shop you’re at the mercy of the installer to ensure the cooling system is in proper working order.

A clogged radiator, weak water pump or sticky thermostat can all cause an overheat situation, particularly in the summer, and especially if you’re dealing with this summer’s excessive temperatures.

To help identify an overheat problem on a cylinder head that was run through your shop, we recommend placing a heat tab on a water jacket plug or on a smooth spot on the casting. The center of a heat tab is designed to melt out indicating the cylinder head reached a temperature greater than its melting point.

Heat tabs come in a few different temperature ranges for marine, diesel and automotive applications. The most popular tabs melt at around 250 degrees F.

Steve Rich

Sterling Bearing

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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