Shop Solutions February 2023 - Engine Builder Magazine

Shop Solutions February 2023

Check out February's shop tips and tricks.

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

Dowel Removal

This is an easy and clean way to remove hollow dowel pins found in connecting rods or mains. Start tapping the I.D of the dowel with an NPT tap. Once it starts to cut, it will spin the dowel, and with upward pressure, the dowel can be removed and reused.

Nick Jones
Automotive Machine
Fraser, MI

Repurposed Stud Puller

Back in the day, we did camel hump SBC heads by the dozens, and we really used our hydraulic stud puller. We recently did a 1944 flathead Jeep engine. There is no clearance to drive the guide out easily, so we took a short length of grade 8 all-thread rod and a coupling nut with the points turned off just enough to clear the inside of the head, and an SBC balancer washer on the deck and we were good to go!

The internet shows how to pull the guide with just all-thread rod, a washer and a top nut. Not happening! Not one of them would budge, not even with an impact wrench on it! The hydraulic puller worked fine until halfway pulling the second guide, then the all-thread snapped, and launched the puller! And that explains the grade 8 all-thread.

Timm Jurincie
Tuf-Enuf Performance
Avondale, AZ

Double Your Strength

Lifting heavy objects is an everyday occurrence in machine shops. To prevent injury, it’s a good idea to install small, inexpensive wire cable hoists over equipment that can hold castings in place while mounting to machinery. Small hoists that lift a few hundred pounds are perfect for installing over cylinder head equipment. Some diesel heads weighing hundreds of pounds can be difficult to lift with a small, single cable hoist. 

To double the lifting capacity of any single line hoist, simply add a pulley hook to the cable and attach the free end to the hoist to create a loop. By looping the cable around the pulley you’ve constructed a block and tackle to increase the mechanical advantage, effectively doubling the lifting capacity.

Steve Rich
Don Gross/Sterling Bearing, Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO

Chip Remover

Often when tapping blind holes, chips pack in the bottom of the hole. This easy-to-make tool quickly removes them. You need one panhead screw with the threads turned down (alternatively, a short screw with a length of rod can be substituted), one wood deck screw with the head diameter reduced, and a 1/2″ aluminum rod (knurl optional).

Drill thru the aluminum rod to allow the deck screw’s shank to just pass through. Next, counter drill to accept deck screw’s head, to a depth 1/4″ short of going thru. Next, it is tapped for panhead screw’s thread. Insert the deck screw, install and tighten the panhead screw. Different deck screws can be swapped if needed for cleaning smaller blind holes.

Tom Nichols
Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc
Joshua, TX 

External Balancing Act

When balancing a crankshaft that has a flexplate or flywheel, make sure it fits snuggly and there is no lateral movement. Any play can cause the balance not to repeat when the flex/flywheel has been removed and installed. I like to center them up as best I can, and then stake the perimeter so there is no play when it’s removed. I’ve seen the balance change 20+ grams on sloppy parts, if allowed to shift. Flywheels are the worst because of their greater mass. Same applies with pressure plates. Always use shouldered bolts that positivily locates it and stamp it for installation position.

Ron Flood
Cedar Machine
North Branch, MN

No Bounce

Most everyone straightens camshafts with a rounded chisel. Your efforts are more productive by supporting the cam. I lay it on a piece of carpet runner and it makes it quicker and easier. I used to do it on the V -blocks, but this is much more effective. Try small taps so you don’t go too far. 

Randy Torvinen
Torvinen’s Machine
Menahga, MN

You May Also Like

Shop Solutions December 2023

Check out the latest shop solutions from builders around the country.

Engine Builder and Engine Pro present Shop Solutions in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine and at 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 November 2023

Many times, the flange diameter of the rod nuts will contact the radius around the nut seat on some rods. Some jobs may not warrant the expense of spot facing the nut seat on the connecting rods. In that case, it can be quicker and more effective to just machine a chamfer on the ARP rod nuts.

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.

Shop Solutions September 2023

Engine shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions August 2023

Engine shop tips and tricks.

Other Posts
Shop Solutions July 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

Shop Solutions June 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

May Shop Solutions 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.

April Shop Solutions 2023

Engine and machine shop tips and tricks.