Shop Solutions

We had rebuilt a customer's 5.3L GM engine but they were still complaining of low oil pressure at idle. We sent them a new oil pump, but it still was low, about 17lbs at idle. We learned that there was a second oil pressure relief valve in the oil pan, just above the oil filter mount. We had not seen the pan during the rebuild. They replaced the valve and oil pressure jumped to 30 lbs. Our 2010 5.3l pickup with Active Fuel Management took part #12608835. I understand there are additional part numbers for different years and applications. This part is often overlooked during rebuilds and I'm sure many repairs have been done, when this $10 part was the problem.

Kenny Burns
Harry's Machine Works
Dodge City, KS

I needed to mount this Desoto Hemi from a nostalgia dragster on my align bore machine. It does not line up with any mounting holes on my end plates, so I have to drill new holes. Once the block is in close position in relation to the boring bar, I screw in the pointed studs (formerly bolts), then move the plates in. I use a hammer to tap the plates to effectively center punch the plates. Then I drill the plates and mount the block. This method can be used for many other purposes as well, like custom motor plates, ect.

Clay Witt
TPIS Specialties Inc.
Chaska, MN

Allen Screw StippedHARLEY JUG JIG
This jig was made to hold Harley cylinders and torque plates in your Sunnen hone. It allows you to set up cylinders vertically, then pivots for hand held hone while using honing oil from your hone. It is much faster and safer than holding cylinders by hand. It locks in the hone bed with the tool rest bar. Cylinders can be installed right side up or inverted if sizing without boring bar first.

Robert Stevens
Rush Machine & Dyno Service
Renfrew, Ont.

Clean FuelFE FORD I.D.
They all say 352 on the side of the block, but this is how to identify which FE Ford block you have.
A 352, 390 or 428 is cast in the bottom of the front right side water jacket hole. It'll take a flash light, but you'll see it if you look in the bottom of the water jacket.

Joe Cardoza
Yosemite Machine
Modesto Ca

When grinding cranks I like to know where the thrust, radius or the crank cheek is. Once I clean up that side, a simple paper clamp marks that and is a good guide on how close that surface or radius is when sweeping for final size. It works for me.

Randy Torvinen
Torvinen's Machine
Manahga, MN


We all need some positive reinforcement from time to time. When talking with your customers about some news that is not necessarily good, you can also put a more positive spin on the news. Let's say you are starting an engine build and find out the pistons your customer wants are not immediately available. Consider the following dialogue with the car owner:
Negative: “I can’t get you those pistons until next week; they have to come from the factory”…
Positive: “Those pistons will be available next week. I’ll place the order today and my warehouse will ship them to us straight from the factory.”
Or, maybe you've discovered additional repairs needed to a customers block:
Negative: “I've got some bad news. You must have over heated the engine at sometime and the main bores will need some additional machine work called align honing.”
Positive: “While we were inspecting your block, we discovered a problem that would affect the life and performance of your engine. The main bores will need to be align honed. This is a sign that the engine may have been severely overheated at some point. We can handle this here in our shop and by bringing things back into spec, you'll increase the life of the engine and help prevent a potential failure.”
Redirecting conversations using positive words that propose a solution will make your customer happier and you more profitable.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO