Shop Solutions September 2021 - Engine Builder Magazine

Shop Solutions September 2021

In the event you come up missing a set screw or oil galley plug and need to finish a job, one can be quickly made by threading the head of a stainless-steel hex-socket head cap screw


When checking in heads, it’s nice to just use “Set-up Stems” instead of having a box of miscellaneous valves for testing. They can at least tell you if the valve guides are useable or worn. I have the common sizes – the ones I use a lot and plan to add more of. It generally speeds up the job and time is money!

Randy Torvinen, Torvinen’s Machine, Menahga, MN


When I cut the oil groove in lifter bores, I put ink on the top of the cutting tool with a metal marker. It makes it easier to see which side the carbide cutter is on to be sure to cut the grooves on the passenger side of the lifter bores. Then I touch up the bores with a two-stone brake hone, not a ball hone. This will remove any burrs left by the carbide cutter.

Wes Schell, Schell Engine & Machine, Gregory, SD


When balancing an externally balanced crankshaft, the harmonic damper needs to be installed at the correct location against the timing gear to maintain proper balance. Sometimes you might get a balance job and the timing gear is not on the crank. We have saved a selection of timing gears to temporarily put on a crank to get the job done. They are all scribed corresponding to what engine they’re for.

Nick Jones, Automotive Machine, Fraser, MI


We keep NPT unions by the lathe for drilling pipe plugs for restrictors. We can screw the fitting in, chuck it up and use the lathe to drill the fitting. We use a split nut on conventional thread fittings.

Adam Cofer, Don Ott Racing Engines, York Springs, PA 


In the event you come up missing a set screw or oil galley plug and need to finish a job, one can be quickly made by threading the head of a stainless-steel hex-socket head cap screw. Then, cut off and file the smaller original threaded portion of the cap screw flat or to a pointed tip, to suit your needs. For the picture example, an M8 x1.25 set screw was made from a 10-24 hex-socket head cap screw.

Tom Nichols, Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc., Joshua, TX


When I install wire O-rings, I use a mini handheld belt sander to do the first 45° scarf cut. Then, I walk the ring wire around, partially depth-set in place, leaving about 5/8˝ of a tail. Next, I mark the mating end with a felt tip marker. This gives you a visual reference to snip and then scarf grind in place, so it mates seamlessly and invisible. Finally, I finish driving the whole wire into depth with an appropriately sized aluminum plate, working my way around. Even though there is no visible “seam,” for asphalt race applications, I prefer to have the joint at a head bolt hole on the inside. If it were to ever leak, I’d rather have it go inside the engine than possibly on the race surface.

Ron Flood, Cedar Machine, North Branch, MN

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When the timing cover or block has no dowel pins, or the dowel holes do not fit snug on the pins. Take an old damper and hone the center so that it is now a slip fit onto the crank snout. Use it to hold the cover in place while tightening the bolts.