Shop Solutions January 2023 - Engine Builder Magazine

Shop Solutions January 2023

Next time you have set of large journal small block Chevy connecting rods to resize, consider honing the big ends of them for a +.002” outside diameter bearing that the LS engines with fracture cap rods use.

Engine and Machine Shop Tips and Tricks

DOUBLE BYPASS

For proper block cleaning, the oil bypass valves in Gen 5 and 6 big block Chevys need to be removed. We made a couple different sized “hook” tools for a slide hammer. This tool will easily pull the valves out of the block and sometimes without damaging them.

Nick Jones

Automotive Machine

Fraser, MI

LIFTER PLUNGER TRAVEL THE EASY WAY

Different brands of hydraulic lifters can have varying travel. Here’s how to measure plunger travel easily. We use a short length of pushrod chucked in our drill press and a block of soft wood to not mar the lifter face or roller. Take the slack out of the pushrod to plunger, lock the spindle, set a razorblade on the top of the lifter, against the pushrod, and turn the couch by hand until you have a good line around it. Blackening the rod with a sharpie first makes the line easier to see or use a blued pushrod. Next, using the drill press as an arbor press, and with a steady down pressure, compress the plunger and wait until oil stops flowing from the side port. Pump it a few times until all the oil is released. Now bottom out the plunger and lock the spindle again, and mark as before. With the oil cavity empty, you can take your time running a pattern on the valve tip without worrying whether the plunger has moved or using light checking springs. We bolt the finished head to the block before we collapse the lifter, and it doesn’t need to come back off. Subtract the plunger travel from the checking pushrod length and add .025” to .050” for desired preload.

Timm Jurincie

Tuf-Enuf Performance

Avondale, AZ

GO OVERSIZE FOR EASE

Next time you have set of large journal small block Chevy connecting rods to resize, consider honing the big ends of them for a +.002” outside diameter bearing that the LS engines with fracture cap rods use. You will save yourself a lot of time cutting the rods and caps and you will maintain the same center-to-center lengths. Be sure to mark them +.002” so the next person to handle them after you will order the correct bearings. 

Dave Matton

D and D Auto Machine

Bloomington, MN

SMALL DOWEL REMOVAL

When removing small dowel pins from driveshafts such as an ignition distributor drive gear or a machinery assembly, it can be awkward holding the part steady, while also holding a drift pin and striking it with a hammer. You need three hands. Instead, use a spring-loaded automatic center punch, adjusted to its strongest setting.

Tom Nichols

Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc

Joshua TX

STUD LUBE

When installing head studs, lube the threads in the block instead of the actual stud. This will ensure proper lube to the entire threaded area, instead of the lead threads stripping the oil off as they go in. It also mitigates the oil that ends up on the deck surface and prevents head gasket sealing issues from that contamination. 

Ron Flood

Cedar Machine

North Branch, MN

DENT PROTECTION

When I straighten a crankshaft that just needs to be polished, I protect the journal surface from the chisel bouncing. Make a pad with seven or eight layers of masking tape and stick it on the journal where you are peening. It protects the journal from the bouncing and ruining your machined surface.

Randy Torvinen

Torvinen’s Machine

Menahga, MN

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Smaller crankshafts and camshafts are so “springy” they can resist straightening and can be hard to straighten by peening. I prefer to use a peening technique on all the crankshafts and camshafts that come through the shop. When on the straightener, these parts will typically bend several thousandths with just a slight push of the hand. A couple of 2˝ x 4˝ boards perpendicularly screwed together provides greater support for these smaller parts and makes the straightening process easier. I like to lay the boards between the V-blocks on the straightener so it’s easy to transition.

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