Engine Pro January Shop Solutions - Engine Builder Magazine

Engine Pro January Shop Solutions


We’ve found that almost all issues related to camshafts being too tight in the bearings are caused by burrs in the cam tunnel, which were caused by the original bearing installation at the factory. This is especially true with split cam bearings found in an LS or late model Hemi.

In our shop, before the block goes into the hot tank, we use a bore polishing flap wheel that’s smaller than the cam bore to very carefully just take the burrs off the big gouges. After that we use a dingle ball hone on a long extension and use honing oil to thoroughly deburr the cam tunnel bores. We started this process on LS Chevrolets, but have since been doing it on all blocks and haven’t had one go tight yet. This includes BB Chryslers!

As a side note,  LS Chevrolets usually have a giant burr at the opening of the cam bearing oil hole. This can be removed with a scraper knife before running the dingle ball hone through. Once everything is nicely deburred, those pieces of fractured metal from the burr won’t go through your fresh bearings.

Jake Sampson

Sampson Racing Engines

Inver Grove Heights, MN


Yes, it’s great to have the proper tools to install a press-fit pick-up tube onto your new oil pump. However, there are times when you may be helping someone in their shop and you need to improvise a quick tool to get this job done. With two simple cuts with a metal saw, a piece of scrap steel pipe can be made into a driver to finish the job. If it wants to open up, just clamp it on with vise-grips.

Mike Segar

Segars Engine Building

Bloomington, MN


This is a tip to help with setting up the mandrels on the line honing machine. I have an assortment of single main caps labeled with paint marker for many different engines on the cart next to my line hone. If I have a block that I’ve installed caps on and line bored, I don’t need to remove one cap to centralize the mandrel, I can use the corresponding marked cap to do it and it saves time.

Bonus tip: On the backside of the “wing” of the line honing machine, I write what each mandrel is currently set up for using a dry erase marker. This way, no matter who was the last one to use the machine, I know what each mandrel is centralized to.

Ron Flood

Cedar Machine

North Branch, MN


For 7/16˝ holes, take a 7/16˝ rocker arm stud, weld a metal pin at 90-degrees on end and it becomes a T-Handle. Make two of them. This way you don’t need a wrench to take a lift chain off of an engine block. For 1/2˝ bolt holes you can do the same, but with a 1/2˝ rocker arm studs. The integral hex on the stud makes it safe and strong


Kimberly Duncan

Reid’s Automotive, Inc.

Whitman, MA


Mounting certain heads in a seat and guide machine can be difficult.

This is especially true if the heads are uneven or the head bolt holes aren’t at the same height. I have a few pieces that came with the machine, but they don’t solve all the problems. I have several different length bolts and nuts that I use as adjustable stands.

They fit inside the head bolt holes and can be adjusted by turning the nut. I ground all the marks off the top of the bolts so it would be smooth. I keep them in my tool box next to the machine for easy access.

Dan Matton

D and D Auto Machine

Bloomington, MN


Shop owners tell us all the time that things they read here in Shop Solutions help them do their jobs faster, easier and more profitably. They sometimes say they wish they could share an idea too.

It’s easy! Just send your best idea with photos or video to us at s[email protected] or [email protected]. Be sure to include your name and your shop name, address and phone number.

The teams at Engine Pro and at Engine Builder encourage you to share your ideas. Even if it seems obvious to you, you may have the answer to someone else’s biggest challenge.

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Shop Solutions – October 2023

A written warranty provides benefits for you and your customer. It sets expectations, protects both parties and is a great marketing tool that encourages repeat business.

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.

Shop Solutions September 2023

Engine shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions August 2023

Engine shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions July 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions June 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

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For racing, a common trend to eliminate the problems associated with hydraulic lifters are the use of limited or short-travel hydraulic lifters. A reduction in plunger travel, which is usually about half that of a traditional full-travel lifter, reduces the amount of oil required to fill the lifter, which in turn reduces the compression of aerated oil.

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Determining the correct pushrod length is often regarded as one of the most intricate aspects of the selection process due to the variability in valvetrain geometry and design.

Rocker Arm Update

Not only are customers asking for higher quality, they’re also becoming accustomed to having to wait a little while longer to get it. And, on the aluminum rocker side of things, the trend for customers has been a desire for lighter rocker designs.