Shop Solutions August 2023 - Engine Builder Magazine

Shop Solutions August 2023

Engine shop tips and tricks.

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.


When line boring and trying to figure out bearing clearance on an engine family that’s out of your norm, check your clearances before you start. Torque a bearing into a good bore and use the stock fasteners if you plan on aftermarket bolts or studs, so it won’t crush the bore smaller. Record the bore size and clearance so you’ll have an idea where to put the main bore size when line boring. Line honing is much easier as you can check as you’re coming to size.

Randy Torvinen
Torvinen’s Machine
Menahga, MN


Checking and calibrating your installed height gauges is something that should be done occasionally. If the height is off, simply reference mark where the scale ring needs to be, heat, remove, and reinstall in the correct position.

Ron Flood
Cedar Machine
North Branch, MN


I made these piston ring organizer tabs for keeping rings in their perspective cylinders while final washing them in the sonic cleaner tank. Works great and saves time vs hand washing them in solvent. We also found some reusable zip ties, as I can’t stand wasted shop supplies.

Jake Sampson
AMS Performance
West Chicago, IL


To boost efficiency on a job using a manual lathe, making custom valve cover nuts, we set up a center drill in a separate tail-stock chuck. Swapping the two chuck/drill is much faster and less work than swapping drill bits in and out of a single chuck. Fit some plastic or aluminum round bar on the chuck key – it’s much easier on your hand when tightening the chuck. On another, similar job, we boosted efficiency even more by replacing the tail-stock chucks with a relatively inexpensive tail-stock turret, letting us switch from center-drill to drill to tap in just seconds.

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


With the proliferation of so many different engines, it seems you just don’t have the correct length (LS engines) or metric pitch that you need to make the lifting and fixturing task easier. Being the pack rat that I am, I put my extra bolt drawer to good use. A trip to the local hardware store netted a dozen welded rings that I can quickly weld to any bolt that fits the mains or deck threads required. Here is a small sample. Occasionally someone will bend one, so I just cut off the ring and weld it on the next appropriate bolt.

Timm Jurincie
Tuf-Enuf Performance
Avondale, AZ


Removing broken bolts and studs can be surprisingly easy. First clean the area, then heat up the broken bolt or stud. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Put a candle or paraffin wax on the broken bolt or stud. Let it sit for another 15 minutes while the wax works its way into the threads. Grab the end of the broken bolt or stud and it will unscrew.

Ron Blades
RPM Machine
Tulare, CA

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