Shop Solutions November 2020 - Engine Builder Magazine

Shop Solutions November 2020

Most of us know that magnetism on parts such as connecting rods is a very bad thing. Heat and friction can cause used rods to become magnetized.


When boring and honing engines with sleeves that have only a light press fit, we have found that the torque from the honing operation may cause the sleeve to slip in the engine case. We use four old 4-sided carbide inserts and some clamp bolts and nuts from the milling machine to hold the sleeves in place. The inserts clamp against the sleeve flange and engine case.

Jerry McLain, McLain’s Automotive Machine Shop, Cuba, MO


When machining multiple parts, put your first part up against a stop like this small parallel. Machine your first one then set and zero the indicator. Now, just chuck up the next part the same way. This will save you from needing to measure each one. Anything that makes it quick and simple is a great help to being productive and profitable.

Randy Torvinen, Torvinen’s Machine, Menahga, MN


Most of us know that magnetism on parts such as connecting rods is a very bad thing. Heat and friction can cause used rods to become magnetized. Today, we can download Gauss/Magnetometer apps for our phones. They use the phone’s internal compass to check the magnetic field around the part. Most apps are free or very cheap. I just downloaded a very nice one for $0.99. If you find parts that have a higher than acceptable magnetism and you don’t have a “demag” table, you can simply pass the parts through the center of the magnetic field of your magnaflux ring or portable magnaflux wand to demagnetize them. Check again with the Gauss meter to verify it worked. Depending on the level of magnetism it could take a few passes. Enjoy your non-sticky parts!

Jake Sampson, Sampson Racing Engines, Inver Grove Heights, MN


When doing port work, one way to get much more life out of your cartridge rolls is to cut the glue at the end and unroll and cut the sandpaper back to a fresh surface. This will also reduce the diameter for hard to reach places. I found that the higher quality rolls have a better “bond” and they don’t tend to end up like a “flapper wheel”, although that can be handy too. Spending a few more dollars is worth it in the long run. The finer grits tend to work better with this trick. The picture is the same type of roll, before and after a couple peels. Easily three times the life. 

Ron Flood, Cedar Machine, North Branch, MN


Ever wonder how to find the center of two pulley groves? Use two long, straight bolts, 3/8˝ in this case. Lay one in each pulley groove and measure the distance across both. Now subtract the width of one bolt to find the centers. (1.078˝-.375˝ = .703˝ [.700˝] in this case).

Mike Petralia, Hardcore Horsepower & Dyno, Franklin, TN


When using grinding discs, sanding discs or carbide die grinder tips on aluminum, use “cutting saw wax” as a lubricant. This will keep the aluminum from gumming them up. Just apply to the surface and grind away, reapplying as needed.

Brad Haugen, Impulse Fabrication, Silver Lake, MN

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