Shop Solutions October 2021 – Engine Builder Magazine



Shallow head fasteners like flywheel bolts can be difficult to remove without rounding the head. I place a socket in my metal lathe and face it flat to eliminate the chamfer. I have full contact with the hitch and less bare heads.

Dave Matton, D and D Auto Machine, Bloomington, MN


Every two months I repair a transmission gear. People install the transmissions out of alignment and attempt to pull them out using the mounting bolts. Part of my repair includes donating a few simple alignment pins made from bolts to make sure the gearbox is okay. Once installed, two or more bolts are installed and tightened, and the alignment pins simply remove with a screwdriver.

Archie Frangoudis, Archie’s Racing Service, Nashua, NH


When making gaskets, exhaust flanges, etc., a set of hole transfer punches can make the job easier. However, if you don’t have transfer punches, or if they’re still at the other end of the store, this little trick comes in handy. Place the tool on your lathe a little below the center line, facing the back end of a drill bit, leaving a sharp “point”. Use the bit as a transfer punch by tapping the other end of the bit with a soft leather or plastic mallet. We are making this easy change to the bits in all of our drill indexes.

Eric Nichols, Moto Machine & Supply, Cleburne, Texas


When installing a connecting rod shorter than that intended for a crankshaft, it is sometimes necessary to disengage the counterweights. A quick reference we make is to use the shorter connecting rod as a guide to mark how much counterweight needs to be removed.

First, with your piston installed on the rod, mark the point on the counterweight that first contacts the bottom of the piston as you rotate it around the rod journal.

Then, with the plunger removed, place your sharpie at the emerging point and hold your sharpie in that position on the rod. Now when you rotate the rod the rest of the turn of the trunnion it will mark the counterweight telling you how much you need to remove to have the same clearance for the rest of the turn.

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


When I take an engine apart, I always leave it standing until I have removed and dropped the oil pan. The rest of the teardown will be much cleaner as the parts will not drip with the remaining tramp oil which will not be fully drained. Most importantly, this last residual / unfiltered oil should not contaminate other critical parts above, such as lifters, piston pins, and rocker arms.

Cleaning will take much less time if it is a relatively non-evasive refresh. This is even more important if the engine has just been inspected and will not be completely disassembled.

Ron Flood, Cedar Machine, North Branch, MN


When I check the height of the bridge, the caliper pads can be difficult to hold in the right place. I use the correct parallel to put the caliper down, which makes the measuring process a lot easier.

Randy Torvinen, Torvinen Machine, Menahga, MN


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