Shop Solutions August 2021 - Engine Builder Magazine
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Shop Solutions

Shop Solutions August 2021


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If you have broken a tap or easy-out, how do you drill it? Go to the hardware store and buy a few cheap masonry drill bits. The type with a spade piece of carbide in the end. These drill bits will put up with lots of abuse and you can drill a hole in a leaf spring with one, or a tap or easy-out. It is not pretty, but it works. You can get a green wheel for your bench grinder to sharpen the carbide bit and you will be amazed at what you can now drill.

Peter vonSneidern, Kidder Mountain Restoration, Temple, NH


I needed a tool for rotating the crankshaft when adjusting valves when the harmonic balancer was on the engine. I cut off the snout end of an old crankshaft. With the woodruff key or keys installed, I put it into the end of the balancer and then used a crankshaft turning socket to turn over the engine.

Chuck Peterson, Peterson Machining, Belmont, NH 


To prevent a clogged file from marring your work, try filling the file’s teeth with chalk. Children’s sidewalk chalk works well for this. Should the file become clogged, a length of 3/8˝ or 1/2˝ copper tubing, with one end flattened, will quickly clear the clogs. It works better than a file card brush and will not dull the file. Use the copper tube like a scraper, moving parallel with the teeth. Wrap tape around the other end to protect your hand.

Tom Nichols, Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc, Cleburne, TX


 I always “phase” my bobweights. I start by screwing in a couple bolts into the crankshaft flange. It seems to be a good starting place and seems to place the first throw up. I level across the bolts then zero my degree wheel. Then, I level each bobweight at 0, 90, 180 & 270. I have rebalanced cranks with a piston weight change that I did previously, and it always comes back to the same correction area. Also, don’t forget to center the bobweight on the journal.

Randy Torvinen, Torvinen’s Machine, Menahga, MN


When doing port work and rolling the short turn radius, sometimes it’s difficult to get in there and get a good angle with the burr or sanding roll. I use a tapered cone type cartridge roll, but I flip it backwards on the mandrel. This will let you get to impossible angles that you wouldn’t normally be able to reach with anything other than an inverted tree carbide bit. Even then, polishing is often impossible. I use the rougher grits to do the profile work as they’ll remove quite a bit of material on aluminum heads. Keep your speed down and the cartridge roll will rarely come unglued.

Ron Flood, Cedar Machine, North Branch, MN


Everyone hates cleaning the flywheel grinder. Chipping or scraping takes time and is not very productive. We found that lining the inside of the machine with a cut up shower curtain or plastic sheet and using spring clips to secure it at the top of the shield saves hours of time in cleaning the machine.


Adney Brown, Performance Crankshaft Inc., Ferndale, MI

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